The Pitch Pipe October 2020

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The | October 2o2o | Volume 74 — No.2

Pitch Pipe THE





Pitch Pipe October 2020 • Volume 74 — No.2


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Countdown to 75 Years: 2010-2019 A Joyful Experience: Suzanne Olsen Sweet Adelines Chorus Identity Make Music Day

75th Anniversary Virtual Convention Competition Updates and Revisions

In Every Issue

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International Board Nominees Election Rules and Bylaws Revisions Diversity & Inclusion Task Force Update Regional Management Team Members

A Legacy of Philanthropy: Toula Oberlies

Events and Competition

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International Updates


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The Voice in Quarantine History of the Crowns Expressive Singing Then & Now Understanding the Expression Category

From Our President From Our CEO Harmony Roundup Accolades/In Memory

On The Cover In 2020, Sweet Adelines International celebrates its 75th year as an organization. Our journey continues...

October 2020 |



Pitch Pipe

October 2020 | Volume 74 — No.2 |

Sweet Adelines International Elevating women singers worldwide through education, performance, and competition in barbershop harmony and a cappella music.

_____________________________________ INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

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Tammy Talbot Chief Executive Officer Tamatha Goad Editor-in-Chief Kim Berrey Managing Editor Stacy Pratt Associate Editor/Staff Writer Ben Larscheid Graphic Designer Joey Bertsch Staff Photographer Kim Berrey Advertising 1.918.622.1444 •

INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021 Joan Boutilier, International President Patty Cobb Baker, Immediate Past President Thérèse Antonini, President-elect Mary Rhea, Secretary JD Crowe, Treasurer Sharon Cartwright Jenny Harris Paula Davis Vickie Maybury Leslie Galbreath Janice McKenna Elaine Hamilton EDUCATION DIRECTION COMMITTEE Marcia Pinvidic, Chair Patty Cobb Baker Corinna Garriock Karen Breidert Mary Rhea EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD Thérèse Antonini Cammi MacKinlay Annika Dellås Mary Rhea Kate Hawkins ______________________________________ Sweet Adelines International members receive The Pitch Pipe as a benefit of their membership. Additional annual subscriptions are available for $12 USD/year U.S.A. or $24 USD/year outside U.S.A. SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS & ADDRESS CHANGES: The Pitch Pipe 9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Telephone 1.918.622.1444 • Toll-free 1.800.992.7464 Fax 1.918.665.0894 • Office hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT) Direct all correspondence, editorial copy and photographs to Deadlines are 60 days prior to publication. Not all submissions will be published. ______________________________________ THE PITCH PIPE (ISSN 0882-214X) (USPS 603-060) is published quarterly: January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 by Sweet Adelines International Periodicals paid at Tulsa, OK U.S.A. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE PITCH PIPE 9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Canadian Post Agreement Number: 1453408 Send Canadian change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: P.O. Box 1051, Fort Erie, ON L2A 6C7 Canada Copyright 2020 by Sweet Adelines International. All rights reserved.






Remember to use #SweetAds75 and #SweetAdelinesStrong on social media. Headquarters uses the # to find your posts, photos and tweets to share across Sweet Adelines social media channels.

From Our President



f someone asked me to describe myself I would say that I am a wife, mom, grandma, sister, teacher, quartet singer, and administrator. Along with all of those is a role which holds a special place in my heart. I am a director. I feel very fortunate to direct the River City Sound Chorus in Region #3. Like other chorus directors I’ve had the interesting, fun, and sometimes challenging experience of finding out what works — and what does not — for virtual rehearsals. At first I was really grasping at straws, not knowing how long to meet, what content to include, and what to do with our contest songs and preparation. I also felt it was important to address the emotions surrounding the abrupt change in chorus life, acknowledge everyone’s feelings, and find proper words to inspire my members to remain hopeful and connected in this new, virtual way. Our journey into this unknown territory began. Pretty soon I fell into a routine. Having a regular agenda for the evening, much like when we were together in person, helped me to be more comfortable with my leadership and seemed to provide security for my singers. I found I could still teach about resonance and vowels, and we could also “sing together" with our Full Mix recordings, each of us muted, to avoid the craziness of being out of synch. I discovered the joy of inviting guest educators into our rehearsals which eased my burden and provided variety and education for my singers. It didn’t take long for the novelty to subside, so my Music Team and I decided the chorus should learn a couple of new songs. Each time we tried a new activity in our weekly rehearsals, memories of my years as a young mother raising children drifted back to me. I was in a constant state of investigating and adapting to the changing needs of my children. This is how chorus rehearsals started to feel. We continued to take steps on our journey, but they often felt unsure. One night during chorus, something unexpected happened. While working on our new song, I got very involved in the musical arrangement. I guided my chorus through an analysis and comparison of two similar phrases. We listened to the learning track, took turns singing along, then put the parts together for a deeper understanding of these tricky spots. At the end of the song, I exclaimed to my members, “That felt like normal chorus rehearsal!” Heads nodded, hands clapped, faces smiled silently back at me, and for those 15 minutes, things felt "normal” to me. It felt as though our journey had finally taken us to a new, hopeful place.

I continue to explore our rehearsal routine, finding moments of normalcy throughout the process. I realize that in order to cope and remain optimistic navigating through these times, my perspective cannot be limited to past, personal experiences as a director but instead needs to remain open to the possibilities of finding new ways to connect, educate, and be strong. This is easier at certain times than others. My journey as a chorus director continues. Since becoming President of Sweet Adelines International, my perspective about many, many things has altered. My journey began in very unfamiliar territory and didn’t match any of my preconceived notions of what it should be. I adapted and reminded myself not to make assumptions about people and situations based on past experiences. I learned that the way things have always been is not the way things necessarily should, or always have to, be. The way I look at songs, at singing together, at understanding each other, and being together has grown. With the help and wisdom of others, my perspective on where we’ve been as an organization has broadened. My view about our choices for the next 75 years has widened. Our journey as an organization has not been on a straight path, with steps sometimes going sideways or backward on the way to moving forward. My current perspective on our potential as an organization is centered on recognizing our history, remembering it, learning from it, and using it to guide us on our journey ahead. In the side mirror of my car, the words say “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” My wish for Sweet Adelines is that wherever our journey takes us, we can see each other “closer” in many ways in the days, months and years ahead. Into the next 75 years, our journey continues… In song,


October 2020 |


From Our CEO



his year, we celebrate Sweet Adelines International’s 75th anniversary. As we look back, we see the singing, the harmony and friendships, but we also see and recognize the era of racial exclusion and the hurt and pain this part of our history has caused. As we look forward to the next 75 years, Sweet Adelines International is fully committed to living out our Guiding Principles so everyone will see themselves on our risers and want to join our Sweet Adelines family. As we look to the next 75 years, I asked a few members what they hope for the next 75 years of Sweet Adelines International. Below are a few of those responses: I wish for the sounds of a cappella harmony to come from the four corners of the world as we enrich our understanding of humanity, growth and education around our planet. By living our vision and celebrating our differences, we can one step, one song at a time, be a voice of change. — Wendy Davies, North Atlantic Region #1, Acappella Sounds Chorus We need to completely embrace equality, diversity and inclusion. The tough and enlightening lessons of the past should be our guide, not our burden. Let the world sample our love, our hope and our peace as we sing in this beautiful art form called barbershop harmony. — Sue Casey, Border Lakes Region #2, Grand Harmony Chorus In the next 75 years, I KNOW that Sweet Adelines International will be recognized as an organization of highly skilled musicians, recognized throughout the world as EXCEPTIONAL singers, entertainers and educators. Our a cappella brand will be world-renowned and our entertainment skills will be in high demand throughout the world! Our inclusivity will have embraced ALL of humanity as we will have been guided by compassion, trust and love. — Molly Huffman, Harmony Heartland Region #4, One Voice Chorus I look forward to a bright and glorious future that remains forward-facing, focusing on preserving the unique sound of a cappella barbershop harmony. We take forward the best of our past 75 amazing years, without diluting our core, in balance


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with the understanding that all organizations must evolve to survive. We use that knowledge to spur our creativity, growth, diversity, inclusion, musical passion, excellence, empowerment and overall acuity. We inform our future, shifting the paradigm as needed, to meet our members where they are, to the best of our ability, while never losing sight of our musical passion and desire to empower our members and communities. — Peggy Sutton, Harmony Heartland Region #4, Pride of Kentucky Chorus Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Let me sing with my barbershop siblings in perfect harmony. — Anna Rosenberg, Nordic Light Region # 32, Pearls of the Sound Chorus My wish is that over the next 75 years, Sweet Adelines International continues to evolve and reinvent itself so that it preserves the heritage of barbershop singing and the integrity of its sound whilst staying contemporary and relevant. In this way, it will attract young singers with new ideas that will ensure an organisation that is vibrant and sustainable. — Dianne James, Southern Cross Region #34, Redland Rhapsody Chorus That the magic of harmony, music, education and competition would continue to reach and touch lives worldwide and be an avenue for bringing people together and making lifelong connections. That lives would continue to be much richer for it. Singing together seems even more important in a year like this where the world has been so completely changed and challenged. — Brianna Perry, New Zealand Region #35, Waikato Rivertones Chorus I wish I could share all the responses I received about our wishes for the next 75 years. They are wishes of hope, harmony and unity. As we live out the Sweet Adelines International mission, vision and guiding principles, each member plays a critical role to ensure we truly live our vision statement of Inspiring and empowering voices to joyfully harmonize the world. Sincerely,

Tammy Talbot

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NOMINEES FOR THE 2021-2024 SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS This election will fill three expiring board terms, beginning May 1, 2021, and ending April 30, 2024. Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

helping organizations manage change through increased employee engagement and customer experience adds external insight. Service as a chapter leader, RMT and regional education faculty member provides organizational perspectives to IBOD decision-making.

EDUCATION: High School, Associate Diploma in Performing Arts (Theatre), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia, Film Production Management Certificate, Australian, Film, Television and Radio School, Sydney Australia SPECIALIZED TRAINING: General Management, Communication Strategy, Public Relations, Facilitation, Presentation Skills, Business and Digital Media Writing, Change Management, Growth Mindset, Design Thinking, Positive Leadership, Solution Selling, Marketing CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: 2013–current: Self-employed Strategic Communication Director specializing in employee engagement and organizational change communication. Past: 2008–2013 – Strategic Communication Director, The Precinct Group, Sydney Australia (now Hotwire Global), 2002–2008 – General Manager and Director, OgilvyImpact, an Ogilvy PR Worldwide company, Sydney, Australia (now Employee Experience),1999-2002 – Head of Creative Services, Jack Morton Worldwide, Sydney, Australia LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: 2017-2020 International Board of Directors member, 2018-2020 Worldwide Moderator, 2017 & 2018 International Task Force Chair – Communication Research & Creative Membership Options, 2015 & 2016 International Editorial Review Board member, 2014-2017 Region #34 Team Coordinator HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? Continuity of knowledge of our global membership and strategic plan gained from four years of IBOD service. Experience from


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WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I bring strategic problem-solving skills and awareness of diverse cultural perspectives from working on global change communication campaigns. I help people connect their individual efforts to their organization’s purpose, vision and values to improve their commitment, satisfaction, and performance. A natural networker, I enjoy connecting people with others for their mutual benefit. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? Sweet Adelines’ future is sustained through continuous development of our music and administration leaders, arrangers and singers. We’ll be at the forefront of flexible, creative and diverse participation, regardless of geography. We will also offer a wide choice of education and performance activities that best suit our members’ personal goals. WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Membership and financial growth. Flexible participation models and options that put our diversity and inclusion goals in action. Keeping the evolving needs of members at the center of our decision-making and service delivery, adapting as we expand as a global organization. Fostering partnerships with compatible music, arts, and community organizations. DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Sweet Adelines is a globally recognized brand with a powerful industry voice, attracting funding, and high-profile performances. Leaders, singers, arrangers, and educators are empowered to connect, collaborate, compete, and share worldclass expertise wherever it exists. Harmonizing, friendship, and a sense of belonging remain at our heart in our changing world.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Public Administration, specialized on Human Resources, 1980–1983 SPECIALIZED TRAINING: Facilitation program to facilitate meetings and workshops at Move Management, Swedish Academy of Board Directors certifying course for future board members, Labour Law, Business Economy at Uppsala University, Developing Leaders Program organized by AstraZeneca focusing on different leadership roles. CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: HR Management Consultant/Owner Dellås People Management AB since January 2015, HR Director/Employee Relations Manager at AstraZeneca 2004-2014, Business Unit Manager for HRM at Thomson Fakta AB 2000-2002, HR Director at Volvo Aero Engine Services Inc. 1996-2000 LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Team Coordinator for the Regional Management Team (2017-ongoing). Member of the International Editorial Review Board (2020) Project Lead and Chair for Rönninge Show Chorus Christmas concert Stjärnjul (2012-2017), Leadership for Section Leaders workshop (2000-2001), Regent in the regional board 1995–1997, President Gothia Show Chorus, 1987–1989. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? I will contribute with my experience and result in leading change, my ability in strategic thinking, and by adding an international perspective to our work. I will also contribute by challenging the present, by seeing the overall picture, and building a sustainable vision for the organization. WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I will bring leadership and facilitation skills to the table, including how to build good teams, engage, and hold people accountable. I will also contribute to problem solving. I will bring board of directors, employee relations, and governance skills that will add valuable knowledge and insights to the board. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? My vision is for us to set a direction for the future and be a leading force to develop the art form of barbershop without jeopardizing the quality or the foundation of Sweet Adelines International.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Membership retention to attract new generations and singers. Challenge our thinking to simplify administration and cost models. Develop the barbershop a cappella style to stay relevant and set the scene for the future. In a changing environment, build diversity and success with other organizations without losing ourselves and our uniqueness. DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Sweet Adelines International will be the natural choice for women singing a cappella music and will have a natural position in the worldwide network of barbershop singing. Sweet Adelines International will promote diversity and work with music development for all singers worldwide. Sweet Adelines International will develop women’s skills, self-management, and confidence.

EDUCATION: High School SPECIALIZED TRAINING: Training/Coaching, HR, Recruitment, Leadership, Facilitation, Customer Service, Leading Teams and Presentation skills, DCP Certified Director, and Regional Faculty trained. CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Currently selfemployed vocal/quartet/chorus coach. Previously Musical Director of the Edinburgh Police Choir and Assistant Director with a men’s barbershop chorus. Previous employment was with a worldwide bank, where I was employed in the HR, Recruitment, and Training departments. LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Member of the International Board of Directors from May 2020; Co-Chair of IES 2019; member of the Editorial Review Board; member of the YSF Management Committee; RMT Team Coordinator (current until May 2020). HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? Extensive RMT experiences have provided opportunities for me to gain insight into issues facing members, together with overall organisational goals. With a proven track record of finding creative, cost-effective solutions, I care deeply about our organisation and am a passionate Sweet Adeline. My endless enthusiasm is also a plus!

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October 2020 |


WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I have integrity and the ability to reflect/consider all aspects of a debate, whilst remaining fair and impartial. I am loyal, honest, articulate, and dedicated and feel I can balance my views between the organisation’s vision, guiding principles, and strategic plan alongside the needs of the members. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? To be widely recognised as a leader in singing through greater media exposure, using the increased interest in a cappella singing to broadcast our excellence in education. More women of all ages will be inspired to be the best they can be and our global presence will be extensive. WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Listening to our members is always key, particularly after this challenging year of coronavirus. However, many positives will come out of this year, e.g. more creative use of technology to inspire, educate, and connect. Membership retention and recruitment will be a key focus also over the next years. DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: The premier provider of vocal education, renowned for excellence in a cappella singing, whilst maintaining our barbershop heritage. Members will feel valued, attrition will be at all-time low, with a diverse pool of new members wanting to join us through new, innovative promotion of our unique product.

being part of the Finance Committee where I feel I can add value as a Board member. WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I want to see us utilize the skills of the Philanthropy Department in the development areas so that we can rely on more than just member dues to sustain our educational programs. The more we can generate outside funding, the more programs we can offer our membership. Finding other funding for our educational programs should be a new focus and I think with the Philanthropy Department’s expertise, it is a program that will grow. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? I see us continuing our offerings of wonderful educational programs. These difficult times have allowed us to grow technologically in ways that will help us diversify our educational outreach. To harmonize the world, we have to reach the world and I am excited to see how we can turn adversity into success. WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? These trying times have shown us we need to pay more attention to technology; perhaps even establish a “Tech” educational component of the Education Direction Committee. We need to entice our members, old and new, with ways to continue improving their craft within the confines of their own lives. We all have busy lives and schedules, if we can provide opportunities to ‘learn’ on our own time it might entice younger members. DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Our complex organization will be expanding to new markets and learning new ways to transmit information about our craft. Micro-learning sessions will allow for many to increase opportunities to learn while managing busy lifestyles.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Political Science CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Director, Finance & Administration; Market Controller, Controller LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: RMT Finance Coordinator, Regional Faculty, Assistant Director (Certified) of two choruses, Panel Secretary, SA Board member HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? I feel my financial background and my work within the non-profit community will allow me to be beneficial to the organization. I was thrilled to be asked to Chair the new Philanthropy committee and cannot wait to work with the International Headquarters Philanthropy Department. Also, I thoroughly enjoy


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EDUCATION: Brookline (Mass.) High School, B.A. summa cum laude, English, University of Massachusetts SPECIALIZED TRAINING: Courses in Music Education at Boston University, Courses in Vocal Health from The VoiceCare Network CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Currently retired; part time vocal coach. Most recently Project Manager and

Technical Writer. Previously Business Systems Analyst and manager of Business Systems Analysts; computer programmer. LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: DCP Review Committee Chair, Directly Speaking advisory committee, Region 12 Education Coordinator (6 years), Region #12 Faculty member and coach, Chorus Master Director (18 years). HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? In my time in Sweet Adelines, I have come to realize that organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills are just as important as musical skills. I have demonstrated strength in each of these areas through my work at the chorus and regional level and would like to continue contributing as a member of the IBOD. WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I bring good communication, organization, analytical, and problem-solving skills to the International Board. I am a planner by nature and a collaborator by choice. I have skills in writing for the reader and am moderately in tune with technology. I know how to plan and how to “go with the flow.”

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? I would like to see Sweet Adelines really celebrate who we are, in all our multi-faceted richness, and build upon that. We are a place for women to sing and perform from their hearts, befriend, empower, and support each other, celebrate each other’s growth, and learn good singing and musical skills. WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Increase membership at all age levels, gain more exposure with under-represented ethnicities and cultures, listen to our younger members and update our policies and image where needed, and remain fiscally prudent. DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Sweet Adelines will be the premier organization for women who want to sing in the barbershop style and in other styles as well. A cappella encompasses a wide range of music choices, and there is room to celebrate all of these while still perpetuating the barbershop style.


Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, December 2, 2020. QUESTIONS?

Call headquarters at 1.800.992.7464 or 1.918.622.1444 or email

October 2020 |




he International Board of Directors (IBOD) is always striving to improve in its role of governance, with the goal of ensuring that we govern based on best practices for nonprofit organizations and in alignment with our Mission and Vision Statements. Significant steps in the recent past included the restructuring of our Headquarters management practices, including the hiring of a CEO and formalizing and strengthening the relationship between Headquarters staff and the IBOD. With that important restructure completed, the IBOD then began an evaluation of the board election process. With the help of an external professional parliamentarian who specializes in nonprofit governance, the IBOD drafted Rules and Bylaws designed to streamline and simplify our Board Election Process, and to facilitate more accessibility to IBOD opportunities for our members. At the June 2020 Board meeting, the IBOD approved several election related revisions to its corporate Rules and Bylaws. These revisions will have an impact on our election practices right away! Here are all the details of what the revisions mean. First, let’s review a few important election related terms of reference. The board is composed of 12 Sweet Adeline members. These members are a combination of elected and appointed members. So what’s the difference between an elected and an appointed board member? An elected board member is one elected by the membership during the election process. These are the people you see on the election slate. Each chorus casts one vote on behalf of its members, and the elected members are those receiving the most chorus votes. Elected board member terms are three years in duration. In addition to these member-elected board members, there is the opportunity for the board to appoint a board member who has not been elected. The IBOD considers the non-elected member appointment process an important one as it provides the board access to specific high level skills that are critical to the IBOD at any given point in time. Appointed terms are one year in duration. The International President, President-elect and Immediate Past President are three of the 12 members comprising the board. Each of three positions has a duration of two years, and they work very closely together to ensure that the transition between International Presidents is smooth and efficient. The President-elect serves in a supportive role to the International


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President and gains a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of the office through that process. The Immediate Past President also supports the International President with first-hand knowledge and experience and provides invaluable support, especially during the transition and early days of the International President’s term. We refer to these three positions together as the ‘Presidential Cycle’.

Now let’s move on to the actual Bylaw Revisions:


Number of members elected to the International Board of Directors in each election Reasons for changes: • To standardize the number of Board members elected and appointed to the IBOD every year • To establish a consistent election cycle that is easier for all to understand and follow.

Previous Practice: The three year election cycle has been four elected members one year, four elected members the next year, and two elected members the third year, with two non-elected appointments available each year. Revised Practice: Every year, three members will be elected by membership to the IBOD, and there will be one non-elected appointment.


Presidential cycle election rules Reasons for changes: • It is against nonprofit organizational best practices to have a President stand for general election during her elected Presidency. It places the organization, the CEO and the Presidency at risk.

• The previous Rules and Bylaws included automatic Update to consecutive service considerations: appointment for the President-elect, President and Immediate Past President if they were not elected, potentially removing all Previous Practice: Once a member reaches an elected opportunities for non-elected member appointments. term limit (12 consecutive elected years) or a member has been appointed for three consecutive years, that member is not Previous Practice: All members, regardless of their board eligible to run for the board again for a period of one year. role, must run for election every three years. As a result, there Appointed years of service do not count toward term limits, and are times when the President-elect, President and/or Immediate one year off the board restarts the count for number of Past President are required to run for election at the beginning years served. of or in the middle of their service in those roles. If they run and are not elected while in any of those roles, they are automatically Revised Practice: No board member will serve more than appointed into available appointment positions. nine years, except to complete an elected term or to complete the presidential cycle. All full years served, whether elected or Revised Practice: Once a board member begins the role of appointed, are included in determining term limits unless there President-elect, running in the general election is not required has been a break in service of three or more years. Once a again until the second year in the role of Immediate Past member has reached the term limit, that member is not eligible President. to run for the board again for a period of three years. This change ensures that there will be one guaranteed non- elected appointment every election year. If the President-elect takes office at the beginning of the first or second year of an elected term, a vacancy (one or two years) will create an additional non-elected appointment opportunity the following year.

BYLAW TOPIC: Length of Service

Reasons for changes: • To reduce the maximum number of years an individual member may serve on the IBOD

In addition to these rules and bylaw changes, in 2019 a new International Committee, the Board Resource Advisory Committee (BRAC) was created to identify opportunities to enhance the election process in other ways. This committee is mandated to support the board by increasing awareness of what is required and expected for board service and in developing processes that will facilitate identification of potential aspiring IBOD members and assist them in their personal development toward that goal. If you have questions for the BRAC, you can email them care of The full revised Rules and Bylaws are available on the Sweet Adelines web site

• To facilitate opportunities for a greater number of distinct individuals to serve on the IBOD over time.

Update to term limits: Previous Practice: No member may be elected to more than four (4) consecutive three (3) year terms. Revised Practice: No member may be elected to more than three (3) consecutive three (3) year terms. October 2020 |




Sing the World with Harmony Travel!


London “Sing In Harmony” Festival • July 17-23, 2021


$2399 USD per person/Double Occupancy • Perform with fellow Sweet Adelines at historic venues in London and Oxford, UK! • See the sights with dedicated tour managers. • Enjoy organized social events. • Meals, cultural events, ground services, and transportation included.

Featured Guest…2018 International Champion Quartet, Lustre! Harmony Travel will donate $100 USD per participant to Sweet Adelines International via The Overtone Society. Add on Tour!

Post-festival motorcoach tour from Caen to Paris with 2015 International Champion Quartet, Bling!

For more information, visit

Quartet photos courtesy of Sweet Adelines International.


Life on a High Note… the easy way!

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e f i L f o s r a e 75 Y e t o N h g i H on a

Support…75 Years of Life on a High Note Vocal Training Leadership Arranging Directing And much more For this generation and the next

Our 75 Years of Life on a High Note campaign runs September 25–December 31, 2020. Our goal is to raise $200,000 USD to support Education Programs of Sweet Adelines. We have a $25,000 challenge gift offered by Judy Gordon, baritone of the 1981 International Champion Quartet, All-Star Jubilee. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar. When you give to the Life on a High Note campaign, you're helping to support our mission of Elevating women singers worldwide through education, performance, and competition in barbershop harmony and a cappella music.

To find out more about making a one time donation or recurring gift, visit, text “Support” to 1.918.992.4838 (U.S. phone numbers only), or contact

October 2020 |


Missing that barbershop sound in your life? Let Viva! entertain you!

Check out our website at for recordings and video of our past performances. PLUS Viva! shirts to wear at home, instead of your jammies!

Let’s have a Vivapalooza! weekend together – a one of a kind musical educational experience!

Stay tuned for a Viva! surprise! Coming soon!

We miss everyone like crazy and can’t wait until we can return to the hobby and people we love! Follow Viva! @vivaqtet on Facebook and @vivaquartet on Instagram!


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7/31/20 7:43 PM

Save The Date St. Louis 2021 Oct. 11-16, 2021

75th Annual International Convention and Competition St. Louis, Mo., USA


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Countdown to 75 years

LOOKING FORWARD: 2010-2019 The bond we share comes from the way we feel when we sing, and singing is part of who we are. We sing beautiful music, and we change the world. International President Renée Porzel, The Pitch Pipe (July 2013) The stories in this article are gleaned from past issues of The Pitch Pipe magazine. All issues can be found in the archives at Sweet Adelines International Headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.

Open Division: In 2013, Sweet Adelines announced the inaugural Open Division competition for choruses and quartets, in which contestants would receive a level score but not a ranking. During its first two seasons (2014 and 2015), 103 choruses and 72 quartets chose to compete in Open Division. At the first Open Division contest, Fandango quartet (#26), with their Christmas in May package, received the highest level score overall in the Entertainment Package for quartets, as well as the Audience Choice Award. In 2015, Sweet Adelines instituted the Entertainment Package for the finals in international competition. Choruses and quartets now perform one contest song for adjudication (100 points per judge), as well as an adjudicated entertainment package for 100 points per judge. The cumulative score of the semi-finals and finals (a possible total of 3200 points) determines the overall winners. Prior to 2015, contestants in the finals performed two contest songs, and each judge awarded up to 10 bonus points based on their own personal opinion of the performance.

In 1966, the exclusionary wording was removed. Lana Clowes, a Sweet Adeline from Canada, was one of the singers who was denied membership when the bylaws changed. At the 2016 International Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. (USA), thenPresident Paula Davis presented Lana with a posthumous lifetime membership and memorial plaque, which were accepted by her daughter, Valerie Clowes, assistant director of Ontario Heartland Chorus. “For Lana and all the unknown others we didn’t have the privilege to know, we today acknowledge our past and embrace our future as a symbol of real change and hope. We rededicate our efforts to welcome all women who love to sing, regardless of age, race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, physical ability, socio-economic class, or creed,” said Paula.

Valerie Clowes accepts posthumous honors for her mother, Lana Clowes, from then-International President Paula Davis at the 2016 International Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. (USA).

Fandango Quartet recieved the highest level score in the first International Open Division quartet contest in 2014.

Acknowledging History: In 2016, Sweet Adelines announced initiatives to acknowledge and address a painful time in our history. In 1958, Sweet Adelines changed our bylaws’ wording to exclude women of color from the organization. In protest, some Sweet Adelines chapters left the organization to form Harmony Incorporated, an organization which continues to thrive today.


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Hurricane Sandy: Just as Sweet Adelines were leaving for the 2012 International Convention in Denver, Colo. (USA), Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the northeastern United States after several days of devastation in the Caribbean Sea. Sweet Adelines lost homes and, tragically, a member of Liberty Oak Chorus lost two family members. Several choruses went onstage without all of their members, and competition schedules were rearranged to accommodate altered travel plans. East Coast Style quartet from Region #15 was forced to withdraw when one of their members could not make it on time. When she arrived later in the week, the quartet was invited to mic test for the Rising Star competition, which was held at the international convention that year.

Kicks on Route 66: In 2010, Tokyo Chorus member Hisako Denda had her Harley-Davidson motorcycle shipped to Los Angeles, California (USA) from Yokohama, Japan for a 10,000mile, five-week journey on famous Route 66. She visited Sweet Adelines Headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA). She also visited several Sweet Adelines choruses across the U.S.: Verdugo Hills Chorus, Sounds of Pittsburgh Chorus, River Bend Chorus, Melodeers Chorus, Capital City Chorus, and the ChannelAire Chorus. Hisako wrote of her trip, “When I was riding by myself, I would think about our Sweet Adelines sisters everywhere and it put a smile on my face to know they were there for me. And it made me feel safe and secure during my journey.” A First for Sweden: Under the direction of Britt-Heléne Bonnedahl and Anna Alvring, Rönninge Show Chorus of Sweden became the first non-North American international champion chorus when they won at the 2013 International Convention & Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA). They also earned the highest score in the history of Sweet Adelines International at the time and received the Most Entertaining Chorus Award. Honors and Dignitaries: Neyla Pekarek of 2008 Rising Star Champion Quartet, Vogue, Skyline Chorus, and Velvet Hills Chorus was a member of chart-topping folk rock band The Lumineers, who were nominated for two Grammy Awards (Best New Artists and Best American Album) in 2012. In a July 2013 interview with The Pitch Pipe, she said, “Being able to be in front of thousands of people and not let nerves get the best of me is something I definitely attribute to Sweet Adelines.” Rachael Starling, baritone of Surrey Harmony Chorus, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 2014 for her service to the rail industry. She received the honor from HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. In 2019, Forth Valley Chorus sang at the 20th birthday of the Scottish Parliament, and Region #34 was hosted by the governor of Tasmania at a reception held at her home during their convention in Hobart (AUS).

competition. In 2015, SA was featured on U.S. National Public Radio’s Leonard Lopate Show. Past-President Peggy Gram spoke, and Lustre quartet performed. Prior to the show, Lustre performed in the “green room” (waiting room) for Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In 2015, Merrimack Valley Chorus participated in Sing That Thing!, a reality television show based on a choral singing competition, where they advanced to the finale (top four of 24 groups who competed). In 2016, ClassRing (future 2019 International Champion Quartet) sang on U.S. morning television show FOX & Friends for Barbershop Quartet Day. In 2017, C’est La Vie, the 2015 Rising Star Champion Quartet, sang on the Valentine’s Day episode of Eye Opener, a U.S. morning television program that aired in several major cities across the country. In 2018, Vocal Dimension Chorus competed on the U.K. singing competition television show Pitch Battle, where they made it to the semifinals. One of the judges said their performance was “joyous, and that is what choral singing is all about!”

In 2017, C’est La Vie, the 2015 Rising Star Champion Quartet, sang on the Valentine’s Day episode of Eye Opener, a U.S. morning television program that aired in several major cities across the country.

Rachael Starling, baritone of Surrey Harmony Chorus, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 2014 for her service to the rail industry. She received the honor from HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Film and Airwaves: Forth Valley Chorus appeared on the audition episode of the television show Britain’s Got Talent in May 2010. In 2012, Harborlites Chorus won the $10,000 USD grand prize in the Gospel Music Channel’s America Sings television

In 2018, Vocal Dimension Chorus made it to the semifinals of the U.K. television singing competition show Pitch Battle.

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Young Women In Harmony: In October 2014, Sweet Adelines International’s Young Women in Harmony (YWIH) collaborated with the Girl Scouts of the USA to create a new barbershop harmony patch for Girl Scouts to earn. Girl Scouts earn patches for various educational and experiential activities, which they display on their uniforms. In 2018, Indian Blue Sweet Adelines Chorus helped the Joondalup Adventure Girl Guides become the first in Australia to earn the patch. In 2016, Sweet Adelines chartered its first YWIH chorus, Bassically Treble, who sang for evaluation at the Region #25 competition that year and officially competed the next year.

Bassically Treble of Region #25 was the first chartered Young Women In Harmony chorus. They competed at regional competition in 2017.

Celebrity Encounters: Marjorie Needham Latzko, tenor of the American pop group The Chordettes (best known for their songs Mr. Sandman and Lollipop) served as a celebrity judge at the 2015 International Convention. Marjorie’s mother founded the West Suburban Chapter of Sweet Adelines in Berwyn, Ill. (USA). On Tap quartet performed at the 83rd birthday party of multiple-award winning actress Rita Moreno in 2015. In 2018, The Accidentals, a quartet from River Oaks Chorus, opened for comedian Jay Leno in Laughlin, Nev. (USA). In 2018, Reunion Street quartet performed with Kechi Okwuchi, a Top 10 finalist on the television show America’s Got Talent, at a convention in Orange County, Calif. (USA). Azalea City Harmony Chorus sang the U.S. national anthem for a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game at the University of South Alabama in Mobile (USA). In 2019, Greater Eugene Chorus sang with country music star Garth Brooks as part of a choir of over 800 singers at his show in Eugene, Ore. (USA). The same year, Sounds of Pittsburgh Chorus performed at the Women Who Rock benefit in Pittsburgh, Penn. (USA). Drummer/ vocalist Sheila E. headlined the event, which focuses on women in music and women’s health awareness.

On Tap quartet performed at the 83rd birthday party of Oscar-, Tony-and Grammy-Award winning actress Rita Moreno in 2015.


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The Flying Adeline: SA boasts several members who are pilots, including Randy Sahae of San Francisco Sound Wave Chorus, Mission Valley Chorus, and Love Handles quartet. In 2015, Randy flew across the United States in her Mooney 201 plane. Despite a few diversions, she made it, and got in some singing with Sweet Adelines along the way! She visited Greater Richmond Chorus, Virginia Coast Chorus, Metro Nashville Chorus, ArkApella Chorus, and Palo Duro Metro Chorus – and ended in Las Vegas at the 2015 International Convention & Competition. She was picked up at the airport by Beth Rooney of Valley Forge Chorus, one of the first woman pilots in the U.S. Navy.

The Flying Adeline, Randy Sahae, made a quick cross-country trip, visiting several Sweet Adelines choruses on her way to the 2016 international convention. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Murff and Karen Taylor Davis, Palladin Photography.)

Unique performances: In 2017, Region #34 RMT members Sharon Cartwright, Anna-Marie Shew, and Dr. Debbie Scott presented a paper on the health benefits of choral singing during the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne, Australia. Their presentation opened with a performance by an ensemble from Geelong Harmony Chorus, directed by Alex Morris, who also directed a lunch time performance that included a chorus made up of members from Melbourne Southern Sounds, East City Sound, Vocal Vibes, Geelong Harmony, and Northern Beaches Choruses. In 2018, 49 singers from three Swedish choruses – Gothia Show Chorus, Key Town Harmony Chorus, and Västerås Show Chorus – visited Japan for Friendship Week, an event they planned in conjunction with Tokyo Chorus. The choruses held a singing workshop and performed for and with each other at Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2019, Hot Pursuit, LoveNotes, and Sirens of Gotham were chosen to open for DCappella, Disney’s touring a cappella show, in various U.S. cities.

2010 Seattle, Washington (USA) 2011 Houston, Texas (USA) 2012 Denver, Colorado (USA) 2013 Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) 2014 Baltimore, Maryland (USA) 2015 Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) 2016 Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) 2017 Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) 2018 St. Louis, Missouri (USA) 2019 New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)


Queen City Sound Chorus (Div. A) Harbor City Music Company Chorus (Div. AA)


Alba Show Chorus (Div. A) Metro Nashville Chorus (Div. AA)


2010-2012 • Cammi MacKinlay 2012-2014 • Renée Porzel 2014-2016 • Marcia Pinvidic 2016-2018 • Paula Davis 2018-2020 • Patty Cobb Baker

Carolina Harmony Chorus (Div. A) Westcoast Harmony Chorus (Div. AA)


Pearls of the Sound Chorus (Div. A) Rhythm of the Rockies Chorus (Div. AA)


2010 • Maxx Factor 2011 • Martini 2012 • Touché 2013 • LoveNotes 2014 • Bling! 2015 • Speed of Sound 2016 • Frenzy 2017 • Lustre 2018 • ClassRing 2019 • Viva!

Springfield Metro Chorus (Div. A) City of Gardens Chorus (Div. AA)


Carolina Harmony Chorus (Div. A) River Blenders Chorus (Div. AA)


Carpe Diem Chorus (Div. A) Pearls of the Sound Chorus (Div. AA)


Malmö Limelight Chorus (Div. A) Brindabella Chorus (Div. AA) 2010 • Scottsdale Chorus 2011 • Melodeers Chorus 2012 • North Metro Chorus 2013 • Rönninge Show Chorus 2014 • Melodeers Chorus 2015 • Scottsdale Chorus 2016 • Rönninge Show Chorus 2017 • North Metro Chorus 2018 • Scottsdale Chorus 2019 • Rönninge Show Chorus


Sirens of Gotham Chorus (Div. A) Wellington City Chorus (Div. AA)


Millennium Magic Chorus (Div. A) Diablo Vista Chorus (Div. AA)

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Save the Date

Sweet Adelines 75th Anniversary Virtual Convention! Thursday, Oct. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 17 2020 Virtual Convention: Music, Education, and Friendship

We may not be able to meet in person this year, but more Sweet Adelines than ever will be able to attend this year’s Virtual Convention – the first fully-online SA International Convention! So, let’s make some history… and have some fun!

Here’s what you can expect each day:

Dynamic Education

Special Awards and Presentations

A chance to re-live some of the most memorable performances in SA History with curated Performance Showcases

Check-ins with our current Champion Choruses and Quartets

Check-ins with Regional Leaders Opportunities to sing together virtually

Visit for more information and a complete schedule of events.


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Performance Showcases!

Dynamic Education!

Award Presentations! October 2020 |


“A FOUNDATION ON WHICH WE CAN CONTINUE TO BUILD” An update from the chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Thérèse Antonini


hree years since its inception, the Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force (DITF) is nearing the completion of its mandate. With the delivery of the Song Assessment Tool and the Chorus Toolkit, which are meant to facilitate our growth as a diverse and inclusive organization, the task force has provided a foundation on which we can continue to build. With the establishment of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, Sweet Adelines can be confident that diversity, equity, and inclusion will remain priorities for the organization. There are a couple of unique characteristics that distinguish the DITF among Sweet Adeline task forces. It has the distinction of being the longest running Task Force in Sweet Adelines International (SA) to date, with a mandate and timelines that have been adapted and adjusted to meet the changing needs of the organization. Like all of our task forces, the DITF has benefitted from the talents and passion of our volunteer members. What sets it apart in that arena is the number of members involved! The task force has included more than twenty different ‘official’ task force members, many additional resources contributing in focused work groups, and the volunteer contributions of hundreds of members.

Task Force 1.0 The initial Task Force was given a mandate of conducting research on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in organizations similar to Sweet Adelines and providing recommendations to the IBOD about how best to support growth of diverse and inclusive membership in SA. The task force researched what other organizations were doing successfully in the area of diversity and inclusivity and what lessons they had learned that we could benefit from in our own efforts. Finding organizations like ours was difficult! Much of the research available pertained to business organizations. We found that most non-profit organizations were trailing the business sector in implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) programs. Those that had implemented programs were not member-based non-profits like SA but more likely organizations delivering social programs. While these organizations were not entirely similar to ours, the task force was able to define some key components to include (and some to avoid) for our own efforts. Through research, it became clear that Sweet Adelines faced specific and unique challenges as an international member-based nonprofit that made it difficult to find parallels that fit. In October of 2017, the first Diversity and Inclusivity educational event was held as part of our international convention in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA). A ‘Diversity Café’ brought together members to discuss what diversity meant to them personally and what it meant to the future of Sweet Adelines.


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Task Force 2.0 Based on the initial task force’s research, and that first international workshop, the task force presented these recommendations to the SA International Board of Directors (IBOD) in the second quarter of 2018: • Create a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion efforts for the organization, including defining long-term volunteer involvement. • Create a toolkit for choruses to use to support the establishment of more equitable and inclusive cultures at the chorus level. These recommendations were approved by the IBOD and a second iteration of the task force was created to begin work on the deliverables – a strategic plan and a chorus toolkit. In October of 2018, we met again with our members in St. Louis to continue discussions. This time our primary focus was on the different dimensions of diversity and how they inform our identities. Participants shared their experiences and identified challenges that would inform the task force as they moved forward to define the components of the toolkit and formulate ideas for strategy and long term solutions. Initial outcomes of the meeting were shared in a January 2019 article in The Pitch Pipe, ‘Building a Diversity Garden’. In 2019, SA recognized a need for the creation of a new overall strategic plan, and to support the strategic planning process, the mission and vision statements for the organization were reviewed and revised based on input from a group with diverse membership representation. You can learn more about that effort and the group involved in an April 2019 article in The Pitch Pipe, ‘Learning to Listen by Being Heard.’ One of the guiding principles that was defined as part of that process was the Diversity and Inclusion Guiding Principle.

Diversity & Inclusion: We celebrate our differences as essential to the rich harmony that unites us. As we recognize barbershop’s African American origins and learn from our exclusionary past toward women of color, we reject discrimination and unwaveringly strive toward greater awareness, openness and understanding of each other.

Task Force 3.0

announcement from the International Board of Directors that included a change to contest rules related to songs with racist With the recognition that diversity and inclusivity efforts needed lyrics, messages, or histories resulted in a change in schedule for the task force. They were asked to accelerate their schedule for to be fully integrated into the new strategic plan, the creation of a strategic plan was removed from the task force mandate and the delivery of the Song Assessment Tool and to recommend a replaced with a mandate to provide diversity and inclusion-related structure for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council that would input to the overall strategic plan. The definition of long term manage all long term volunteer involvement. volunteer involvement remained in scope. The task force met to revise their delivery schedule, and In addition, the creation of a permanent recognition display in August, the first version of the Song Assessment Tool was was added to the mandate. The intent of this display is to provide delivered, followed by the announcement of the Diversity, Equity, members with a permanent visual representation of the history and Inclusion (DEI) Council structure and application process in of Sweet Adelines as related to diversity and inclusion from the September. The task force is continuing its work on the remaining components of the chorus toolkit and has the first release planned origins of the organization to the present day, and to ensure that for October 2020. At the end of 2020, the task force will release the display will continue to grow as the organization evolves. This additional components of the toolkit, and hand over all of its display will enhance our current historical artifacts and create a deliverables to the DEI Council for permanent maintenance and more accurate and thorough understanding of the full history that future evolution. belongs to all of us. As the Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force completes its official At the third international convention diversity and inclusion mandate, we recognize that our work as an organization has only event in New Orleans, the task force sought input from the just begun, and we know that we will continue to learn as we go membership that would be used to finalize work on the Chorus Toolkit. Members in attendance at that workshop worked in teams forward. The International Board of Directors is committed to ensuring the programs, policies, and practices of the organization to address topics that included preparing for a chorus diversity promote a culture where diversity, equity, and inclusion thrive. program, having conversations regarding diversity, chapter choices (including music selection), marketing and recruitment, faculty Leaders at every level will be key in setting the course and leading by example, and the member involvement that has served and resources, and the format of the toolkit. All of this input the task force so well will continue to be the most important was captured and documented in detail, and the task force has factor. This work belongs to each of us, and to all of us. It is ours continued to use it as a primary resource during the development to embrace. of the Chorus Toolkit. Sweet Adelines International The task force was on schedule to deliver the first version Overall Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force Timeline of the chorus toolkit in October of 2020. In June 2020, the


Official launch of Song Assessment Tool 1.0 and supporting education

Official launch of Toolkit 1.0

Support of Song Assessment Tool Continuation of toolkit pilot July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

Definition of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council

Permanent Recognition (virtual)

Official launch of Toolkit 2.0

Finalize task force work October 2020

DEI Council Applications

November 2020

December 2020

DEI Council Appointments

DEI Council Appointed

Sweet Adelines DEI Council Approved

International Song Assessment Tool Rollout Timeline

Song assessment tool released to pilot groups for testing SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL SONG ASSESSMENT TOOL ROLLOUT TIMELINE

June 29

July 6

Feedback incorporated into song assessment tool

July 13

Pilot feedback gathered

July 20

Official launch of Song Assessment Tool 1.0 and supporting education

July 27

Aug 3

Educational materials finalized

Aug 10

Aug 17

Aug 24

Ongoing educational support and gathering feedback, initial population of database

October 2020 |


Harmony up Round

Harmony Roundup is a place to share your adventures and achievements! Let us know what your chorus or quartet has been doing in your community. Email your submissions and photos to

Where We Sang Several Sweet Adelines participated in Make Music Day (Fête De La Musique) on June 21. The holiday began 38 years ago in France and is now celebrated by musicians around the world who perform live music that day. Honey Bunches of Notes (#1) and Harmony on the Sound Chorus (#1) were among those who participated in this year’s virtual Make Music Day online. See page 37 for the story of three Sweet Adelines choruses' special Make Music Day virtual performance. How We Sang U.S. television personality and author Mike Rowe was on hand to install officers of Harbor City Music Company Chorus (#19) in June. Mission Valley Chorus (#12) held “Author Nights” during their Zoom rehearsals. They had presentations from several authors, including Grant Snider and Laurie King. Greater Cleveland Chorus (#17) was named Community Partner of the Month for June by The Cleveland Police Foundation for the many ways they have cared for first responders and community members during (and before!) the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the chorus sang at many community events. They donated books to the city’s children’s literacy project, and during the pandemic, they

made masks and food for first responders, among other ways they help people. Why We Sang Hobart Harmony (#34) raised $1,260 (AUD) for Breast Cancer Network Australia at their Purple & Pearls Celebration in memory of one of their favourite coaches, Lindsey Dyer. Vallee de Croix Chorus (#6) donated clean, used mascara wands to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge located in North Carolina (USA). The wands are used to help clean the fur of small rescued animals. Members of Vocal Dimension Chorus (#31), dressed as frogs, raised money for a local hospice with their virtual performance of Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus’ We All Stand Together. In June, Bathurst Panorama Chorus (#34) completed 20 knitted blankets to distribute to local charities as part of their annual Knit In Harmony project. In June, Phoenix Chorus (#31) bass Mave shaved her head as part of a fundraising event for the Macmillan Cancer Support organization, Brave the Shave for Macmillan. Mave raised over £800! The same month, Manawatu Overtones (#35) sang at a fundraising event for breast cancer research.

Although they couldn’t hold their usual Knit In Harmony day this year, Bathurst Panorama Chorus (#34) members and supporters knitted 20 completed blankets to distribute to local charities. Shown are a few chorus members with some of the colorful blankets that will help their fellow community members through the winter.


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A Labor of Love


t was truly a sad day in March of 2020 when it was announced that singers everywhere would need to refrain from regular rehearsals, performances and competition due to the COVID-19 virus. We were all devastated at the thought of not singing and not meeting with our friends. At the same time, we were worried about keeping our chorus invested emotionally and financially. However, as the overachiever Sweet Adelines that we are, Bridges of Harmony Chorus (#9) of Jacksonville, Florida (USA) found ways to stay connected. We identified an opportunity to make and sell much-needed face coverings. Led by Fundraising Chairman Karen Wicker and Project Manager Susan Mevio, we collected fabric, elastic, and thread from chorus members to get started. A team of members got busy figuring out how to construct and mass produce the product. After about two weeks of organizing, we were off and running, or should I say, cutting and sewing! Every chorus member contributed in some way. Each member posted on their Facebook page, marketing to their families, friends, and neighbors. Orders were placed and paid through our chorus website. It was awesome that everyone came together with such enthusiasm and support! We really had no idea what the outcome of this project would be, but it has been a great motivator and team building venture during this season of our lives. It has kept friends in touch outside of our regular Zoom rehearsals, and our Treasurer is smiling! Now that’s a win! Bridges sends our love to ALL Sweet Adelines. Stay safe, and keep a song in your heart! — Faye Delaney McLanahan, Bridges of Harmony Chorus Member

When the Cars Align


f course it is in the stars to want to maintain our unity, our love for singing, our camaraderie, our love of being together as One Voice Chorus (#4). While COVID-19 spread across the world has made singing together difficult, it took a work of ingenuity to maintain our togetherness. “What beats zooming across the virtual world?” we asked. 
Mixing it up with as much social distancing as singing requires, One Voice Chorus developed our version of “Garage Band Barbershop” style. Having individual microphones mixed for all to hear each other clearly, singing together happened. We aligned in the isolated bubbles of our cars or stood a significant distance apart, sending our sound into our hearts and ears. What a magnificent need was filled in sharing our voices, live, in person! Proper disinfecting of all equipment, of course, ended our rehearsal, then love drove us home. — Molly Huffman, Director of One Voice Chorus

October 2020 |



Advice from SA International Faculty Members Kim Vaughn and Bec Hewitt


s the world around us rapidly changes and we find ourselves working from, schooling from and, for most of us, shopping from home, how can we make sure that we maintain our singing at the highest level? When we return to chorus, will we have maintained our vocal skills? Many of our choruses are now rehearsing online via platforms such as Zoom, and these gatherings are providing a wonderful social connection for our members to their choruses and keeping them in touch with music and vocal education resources. However, while we lack regular connection to our musical leaders, the responsibility for keeping our voices in their best shape is more than ever focused on us as individuals. So let’s spend a moment addressing some of the key aspects of this vocal quarantine: why we need to be aware of our own vocal skills and tone, the impact of motivation on practice, and some suggestions for how to stay motivated and engaged in vocal skill work at this most unusual time.

Get moving, and sing every day. Remember that old slogan “use it or lose it”? Well, unfortunately that concept applies to singing, too. Our voice is a series of muscles, cartilage and membrane that, like any muscle in our body, needs to be stretched and engaged to help it maintain tone and flexibility. Renowned vocal coach Audrey Hunt notes that vocal stamina and, as a result tone and flexibility, is affected when we stop singing for a length of time. Operatic soprano and vocal coach Claudia Friedlander is one of a group of teachers advocating for physical fitness classes to be part of college vocal pedagogy degrees. They argue that physical fitness and flexibility help support a singer's mobility and stamina for the rigors of performance. What this means for us is that the more that we can remain physically active, the better we maintain our overall instrument.


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It is also worth noting that our lifestyle and health can affect our voice, too. So for the sake of our body and our voice: • Eat well. • Get plenty of sleep. • Do things that make you feel good and keep you mentally healthy, like singing! • Take time away from social media and the news if they cause stress • Try to get some exercise every day.

Remember that our entire body is our instrument, so we need to keep our instrument in good shape! Not only should we keep our bodies moving, we also need to keep our voice moving. One of the best things we can do is to make sure we sing and use our voices every day. Doing some kind of vocal exercises like bubbling and humming are always a good place to start and a safe way to begin. Rather than just singing along to the radio, we need to experience the full body engagement that is reflective of the singing we would do at chorus rehearsal. For example, performing at least one song every day in front of a mirror would do a lot toward maintaining muscle memory of not only choreography but also keep us aware of how good singing and good sound “look.” Talking every day is important to keep the vocal muscles and ligaments in use. Talk to your pets, call a friend, talk through your daily schedule out loud but make sure that you do talk every day.

Make a plan. Whether we are in quarantine or not (and there is no denying that quarantine does add even more pressure to this), motivation is a huge factor in the effectiveness of practice in any activity. Now let’s be honest, we all really do have the best intentions to practice each week. We attend our rehearsals—whether in person or virtually— and return enthusiastic and ready to really work that phrase that isn’t quite right or develop that vocal skill that we know would make such a difference in finishing that phrase beautifully. And yet for so many of us, especially now, the week comes and goes and suddenly it is the night before chorus rehearsal and we are jamming in an hour of practice to try to be ready. We know that this isn’t really effective and we promise ourselves that next week will be different...and so the cycle begins again. So how can we change this cycle? First, we need to understand a little more about motivation. Often the issue with practice motivation isn’t the practice itself but the act of just getting started. With so much competition for our attention, it can be hard to set aside some time every day to practice. So, start small. Take five minutes to sing a scale, practice your breathing, bubble a scale or the line of a song, or hum a tune. Set a timer for five minutes and work on one thing in your music that really needs your attention. If after five minutes you don’t feel like continuing, stop, but we bet you will want to keep at it just a bit more!! As you continue this practice, you will likely find that it becomes easier to get started.

Some other ideas to help with motivation: • Make a list of short and mid-term goals. The list will give you signposts to work toward The goals are a measure of our success as we achieve them.

• Know where you would like to focus your attention Record yourself and listen back to identify areas that you would like to work on that day. Have a singing lesson and talk with your teacher about working through goal setting. • Identify opportunities in your daily routine. We are more effective at adding a new routine to our schedule when it is attached to an existing routine. Add singing to some other daily habit you have like walking the dog, doing morning puzzles, checking in with someone, making a cup of tea. Each time you do your identified activity, do one vocal exercise or song. When this is multiplied across the week, you will be pleasantly surprised with how much more practice you added to your week and your voice will thank you! • Practice doesn’t need to be in huge chunks of time. In fact, the body responds better to shorter bursts of mechanical repetitive action repeated more often across the day, meaning 5-10 minutes three times a day will assist muscle memory more than an hour once a week the day before rehearsal. (Check out Annie Bosler and Don Greene’s TED talk How To Practice Effectively...For Just About Anything to learn more about why shorter and more frequent practice is better for our brain and muscles). • Practice is about developing ease and efficiency. So we don’t practice until it’s right, we practice until it can’t be anything other than easy and efficient. Repetition of shorter phrases should be considered a crucial part of that practice. • Have a practice buddy. Team up with a friend from chorus and check in with one another on how your practice is going. Make ita game or a competition! The main thing to remember with motivation is to take the first step. Try one exercise, try one short phrase. You will be surprised how quickly you will want to continue.

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What should I sing? As we have mentioned, one of the main things through this period (and really all the time) is to engage the voice and use it to help keep it in its best tone. However, if you are not sure where to start, here are a few ideas. • Every week our choruses work through many fabulous exercises, used and presented in a specific order to achieve specific goals in a stepwise manner. These are also all fantastic exercises to work on at home. Use the exercises that were taught at your weekly virtual rehearsal as your exercises for the week at home. Just keep in mind that you always want to think of your vocal exercise work like a warm up stretch in sport: Start gently and in your comfort zone and then build up towards stretch and extension. So start with humming or bubbling in your mid-range before moving to range extension. • Scales. Five-note scales first, then octave scales. Descending scales are the most efficient. • Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract exercises or SOVT are a fantastic way to engage the voice in a tension free, well-coordinated manner. Voice Science Works state that some of the main benefits of SOVT exercises is that there is less impact, collision and stress on the vocal folds because these exercises are aimed at training the voice to coordinate breath flow and vocal fold movement for efficiency, tension free. Examples of these exercises include bubbling, trilling and the straw exercise as explained by Ingo Titze, which can be found on YouTube. There are also many wonderful exercise series being developed every day and published to Facebook and YouTube by excellent educators all around the world, including those available on our own Sweet Adelines International website in both the public and members-only sections of the Education portal. Vocal Exercises are a great way to keep the voice in condition, but don’t forget that they are also used for training our voice. If you would like to use exercises to more specifically target areas for your own vocal development, you may want to reach out to a singing coach and have a lesson or two to discuss where you are at in your vocal journey and steps for moving forward.

"Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger, more skilled and more selfconfident and more successful." — Mark Victor Hansen, Founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series


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Try again. Persevere. Find something to take away from every session, every rehearsal.

Take advantage of technology. Online rehearsals have become a cornerstone of 2020 for our choruses and involve a learning curve for many of us. This transition has proven frustrating, isolating and lonely, yet also a source of uplift and connection as we strive to stay connected and engaged with each other and our learning. To try to make the online experience the best that it can be, make sure to set up your space in a way that is conducive for good learning and singing. Sit at a table or desk so you can sit with good alignment when you are singing. (Of course, standing would be better but if sitting, sit well.) Make sure that your device (computer or tablet) is situated in a way that you can look directly at it rather than down. Consider using a computer that is hardwired into your internet modem. Wi-fi is fine if you can’t, but being directly connected to your modem will help minimize any buffering in the call. There are also some great resources on the Sweet Adelines website about how to host and connect to virtual rehearsals as well as some ideas for online rehearsals and staying connected through this time. Know that your musical leaders are spending hours every week rewriting their plans, developing brand new classes, and relearning how to teach and work in the current COVID world. Be patient with them, with others, and with yourself as we all learn to work and share in this very new online world. Though it isn’t the same as standing on the risers with our chorus friends and sharing that connection, online rehearsals have allowed us to keep singing and learning and connecting. Please don’t give up just because one session wasn’t everything you wanted it to be. Try again. Persevere. Find something to take away from every session, every rehearsal. Use this opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand, to reflect, to improve, to explore. But most important of all — to sing!

Kim Vaughn is SA Master Faulty, 2014 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Master Director 700, member of San Diego Chorus, and three-time International Quartet Champion with High Society (1976), Savvy (1988), and a cappella Gold (2001). She is also a Certified Sound Judge and a respected vocal coach.

Bec Hewitt is a member of the SA International Faculty, the Region #34 Regional Education Faculty and is the Region #34 Education Faculty Coordinator. She is a 16-year SA member, having competed with both choruses (small and large) and quartets, including 6 time Regional Champions Hi-Jinx (now retired). Bec is a voice teacher, a Singing Judge (Australiasian Guild of Barbershop Singers - BHS Affiliate), and vocal performance coach.

Sing A New Song! Revive your repertoire with these song titles recently added to the Sweet Adelines International online store. (May 1–July 31, 2020)

Newly published by Sweet Adelines: It’s Not For Me To Say*, Carolyn Healey, 10034 Singin’ With The Saints, Judy Vidal, 10035

Newly arranged and added to the store: Take Me Back to Toyland*, DeDe Crow, I04937 I Will Follow Him, Karen McCarville, I04938 I Won’t Say (I’m in Love), Jeana Womble, I04939 Percy, the Puny Poinsettia, Suzy Buerer, I04940 Turn Around, Look at Me*, Sylvia Alsbury, I04941 Yesterday I Heard the Rain, Carolyn E. Johnson, I04942 It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday, Karen McCarville, I04944 Bee Gees Medley, Brian Beck and Renee Craig, I04945 Rubber Duckie*, Carolyn E. Johnson, I04946

Songs arranged specifically for young voices: YW - Yesterday I Heard the Rain, Carolyn E. Johnson, I04943 YW - Rubber Duckie*, Carolyn E. Johnson, I04947 * US public domain

To order, contact Sweet Adelines International Sales Department at, visit, or call 1.918.622.1444 ext. 112 or toll free at 1.877.545.5441. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT (2 p.m.-10:30 p.m. UTC)

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Suzanne and Tom Olsen’s donation to Sweet Adelines International


atching LiveWire quartet perform at the 2019 Region #12 competition, one immediately notices the joy emanating from their stately baritone, Suzanne Olsen. She said joy is what has kept her ringing chords since 1986, when she joined her first Sweet Adelines chorus in Tokyo, Japan. “I was utterly hooked the first night,” she recalled. “It was a chorus that had been in existence for ten years. It was about 75 percent Japanese singers, 25 percent singers from all over the world. It was just so much fun. The harmony got me immediately!” Suzanne hopes to share that joy through the generous estate gift she and her husband, Tom, recently made to Sweet Adelines International. They worked with legal counsel to name Sweet Adelines in their family trust so that, upon their passing, their bequest will go to the organization that has meant so much to them. Wherever the couple moved for Tom’s career, Suzanne sang barbershop – even when she had to found her own chorus, which she did in Bangkok, Thailand and Mexico City, Mexico. “When I got to Bangkok, I knew nobody,” she said. “I went to the American Women's Club, and they had you fill out a form about your interests. I get a call the next day from a woman who had sung in Texas with a Sweet Adelines chorus, and she said, ‘Would you consider starting one here?’ I said, ‘I've been here a week! I don't even know anybody!’ and she said, ‘I know everybody in town. If I get them there, will you do it?’

The chorus had 22 people there the first night, and it grew to around 30 members by the time Suzanne moved away. It included people from all over the world as well as local singers. “Founding the choruses was such a wonderful thing to do because it gave me a way to meet local people and make friends that were from that country and from other countries whom I would have never met before,” she said. When Suzanne and Tom returned to the United States, she sang with Harmony Crossroads Chorus, Pacific Empire Chorus, and Pride of the Pacific Chorus. Today, in addition to LiveWire, she sings with 2019 Harmony Classic Division AA Champion Diablo Vista Chorus (DVC). She is a section leader, assistant director, and recorder on the Chorus Management Team for DVC, and in 2019, the chorus named her one of their two Sweet Adelines of the Year. Suzanne said she values the education and friendships she has gained through Sweet Adelines. “There’s always something that I come away excited about every single time I attend a Sweet Adelines educational program,” she said. “And what's always stunning to me is that I meet people who I would never become friends with ordinarily, but when we sing together and get to know each other, it's just such a joyful experience!” The Olsens’ gift will help ensure that joy for future generations.

To make Sweet Adelines International part of your estate planning, consult with Susan Smith, Director of Philanthropy, at or by calling 1.918.388.8040.


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SWEET ADELINES CHORUS IDENTITY Crescent City Sound Chorus reflects on what it means to be Sweet Adelines


horus identity encompasses several factors and evolves over time. Chorus culture, chorus mission, chorus sound…all these factors and more make up the unique identity by which each chorus is known. For Sweet Adelines choruses, membership in our worldwide organization also factors into chorus identity. Crescent City Sound Chorus (CCSC) recently spoke with the SA Membership Department about what being a Sweet Adelines chorus means to them. Since 2004, CCSC has been known for comedic performances filled with big music in their hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). Their member-driven chorus believes in welcoming all who come through their doors through top-notch performances and an emphasis on education. Most importantly, they believe they are who they are because they belong to the worldwide organization that is Sweet Adelines International. Sue Galliano, team lead of CCSC, says, “We are who we are because of Sweet Adelines International!... [SA] provides the structure choruses need to understand the art form of barbershop, through continuing education and contest opportunities.” From providing opportunities for chorus members to utilize educational offerings, to hosting watch parties of International contest performances, to connecting with members across the world, CCSC celebrates their identity as a Sweet Adelines chorus in many ways. Sue says, “International Convention and regional education opportunities keep us going…literally!” The chorus provides funding for their team lead, director, and four-member directing team to go to every education session offered regionally and internationally. They also have an educational scholarship program for chorus members to attend

these events. Educational materials from the events are used in the chorus rehearsal plan each week. Team Leader Emeritus Beth Sacco says the chorus has “a strong commitment to continuing education that flows to our chorus through Region #10 via regularlyscheduled workshops with SA key music leaders as faculty.” These workshops benefit the entire chorus as attendees share what they’ve learned with the rest of the chorus, and the education allows them to thrive at contest. Sue says, “Going to contest is one of the things we look forward to most each year.” As mic testers at two different international contests, they performed musical parodies that were hits with audiences. They celebrate International Convention by hosting watch parties for their chorus, cheering the winners, and learning from their performances. New members get introduced to contest right away, receiving YouTube links to the International Champion Quartets and Chorus Champions so they can listen to the best of the best and understand the scope of the organization. Sweet Adelines’ identity as an international organization of singers plays a huge part in the CCSC identity. Sue says the chorus favorite part of being a Sweet Adelines chorus is, “the connection to other women who love to sing! The camaraderie we enjoy on the regional and international level is huge for CCSC.” Being located in New Orleans helps: Sweet Adelines from around the world who are visiting the city often drop in on their rehearsals to ring chords with the chorus. Crescent City Sound loves being a representative of Sweet Adelines. Sue says, “We know we represent all Sweet Adelines. We take that very seriously.”

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n 2019, Sweet Adelines International’s new Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles were adopted by the International Board of Directors. Since that time, the International Board and its committees and task forces have been reviewing and continuing to bring into alignment all policies, materials and methods used in various areas of the organization. Over the last year, the Judge Specialists Committee has been reviewing the materials that guide the judges and competitors in each competition. As a result, the Judging Category Description Book —the definitive book which provides judges and competitors with the requirements and guidelines for successful Sweet Adelines competition performances — has been in the process of review and revision. While not all revisions have been completed, we want to share with you some of the results of this review. All of these revisions can be accessed on the Sweet Adelines website here. As you prepare for your next contest, you’ll want to keep these changes in mind.

PREFACE: This Preface, which is being newly added to the JCDB in 2020, will briefly explain the origins of the barbershop art form as well as the organizational commitment to display sensitivity, respect and high regard for collective harmony in our contests and performances.

MUSIC CATEGORY REVISIONS: Song Stipulations (Previously “Lyric Stipulations”) Competition policies established by the International Board of Directors prohibit the use of songs with religious or patriotic lyrics or official organizational songs as the contest song in a Regional, International or Evaluation Only contest performance. Religious songs include hymns and other songs written to create an awareness of and reverence toward a supreme being. Patriotic songs include national anthems and other songs written to inspire patriotism and allegiance to a particular country. Official organizational songs include “Harmonize the World”, “How We Sang Today” and “The Voice of Harmony”. In the Open Division or International Entertainment Packages,


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religious, patriotic or official organizational songs of Sweet Adelines International may be used as part of the package. The degree to which such use enhances or detracts from the performance is reflected in the judges’ score and commentary. Many songs from Broadway musicals and other sources are not considered religious or patriotic because they were written primarily for entertainment purposes rather than for inspirational values. Competition policies also require that songs be sung in English, though no penalty will be assessed for the occasional foreign language word or phrase found in American popular song.

Major changes:

1) Combining “religious, patriotic or organizational songs” into one paragraph with like treatment in contest; 2) the addition of “The Voice of Harmony” to our list of organizational songs; 3) the clarification that these songs may now be used in Open Division and Entertainment Packages; 4) revisions/deletions to coordinate with organizational guiding principles.)

Lyric Considerations: This section was rewritten to complement and coordinate with the organizational guiding principles. Lyric Alterations: This section was rewritten to complement and coordinate with the organizational guiding principles.

PENALTIES: In the “Penalties” section, several revisions and one addition have been made. The addition has to do with “Inadmissible Songs” as reflected in the Music Category revisions and in our organizational guiding principles.

Rule Infraction Penalties

Inadmissible Songs: In accordance with our guiding principles of Diversity and Inclusion and the Culture of

Belonging, Sweet Adelines International rejects any song that refers to racist lyrics, messages and history and consider them inadmissible for performance. Beginning in March 2021, performance of a song deemed inadmissible by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, in any contest session, will result in a fifty (50) point penalty and ineligibility for any International awards. In the Open Division or Evaluation Only this will result in disqualification. Starting October 2021, the penalty for performing any song deemed inadmissible, in all contest divisions, will result in disqualification. The phased implementation is to ensure that all members fully understand how to evaluate the lyrics, message, and history of a song before the disqualification penalty takes effect. (This penalty addition underscores the commitment of the organization to promoting cultural harmony in our competitions while providing a “learning curve” time frame. Education is being provided by Sweet Adelines International so that every competitor has the ability to be successful in song choice. It is the judges’ responsibility to be the guardians of this commitment of respect and harmony; however, our greatest hope is that this penalty will never be needed.) Religious, Patriotic Songs and Official Organizational Songs: This penalty has been revised to add “The Voice of Harmony” to our organizational songs and to clarify the ability to use the organizational songs in Open Division or Entertainment Package songs as a package song (not the contestable song) only. If sung as the contestable song, it will still receive a score of zero (0) from all judges. Performance Content: Eliminations Sessions: Competition performance (time on stage) is confined to singing. An occasional special sound effect (e.g., a cough, a sigh, a clap, a finger

snap, a yell, etc.) or vocal exclamation/reaction is permissible, but non-singing conversations, dialogues, monologues or noise-making devices (e.g., bells, whistles, tambourines, drums, etc.) may not be included. In all sessions, the penalty ranges from a minimum of five (5) to a maximum of fifty (50), depending on severity. Inclusion of spoken material (beyond a word or two) or noise-making devices during the competition song in an Open Division performance or during an Evaluation Only performance will result in disqualification. Entertainment Package Sessions: Non-singing conversations, dialogues, monologues and/or sound effects, as defined above, may be utilized in any of the noncompetition songs included in the entertainment package. Crowns or Tiaras: This penalty has been revised to identify what types of crowns can and cannot be worn without penalty. “Crowns worn in the style of a Sweet Adelines Championship Quartet are prohibited, and will be penalized twenty-five (25) points or in the case of Evaluation or Open Division, disqualification. However a contestant may wear a crown like object as a part of their costuming (ex. medieval, circlet, diadem, wreath, cone hat, etc.).” With this change, contestants may wear other types of crowns without penalty.

The Judging Category Description Book is currently being updated. The revised edition will be available for digital download or hard copy purchase when it is complete. Check here for news of the release. Thank you for your patience as our Judging Committee completes this important project.

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HISTORY OF THE CROWNS Reprint of The Coronet Club article by 1951 Queen of Harmony Jewel King (Quarternotes)


t's the ultimate dream of most Sweet Adelines — that moment in their lives when they are declared the best in the world. Those who reach for the stars can hardly picture the moment without imagining the emotion of having a shining, glistening crown placed upon their heads. The crown. It has been the symbol of our quartet champions throughout our history. But just when and how did it become the tradition we know today? The first four championship quartets received not much more than a title. The Decaturettes (1947) were called “World's Champion Women's Barber Shop Quartet.” There were no crowns, pins, or certificates. The Johnson Sisters were presented with a silver pin and named 1948 Queens of Harmony, probably inspired by the Miss America Pageant and a popular television show, Queen for a Day (1941-1964). Since the title certainly seemed to stick, it was only a matter of time before the royal symbol followed. “The Quarternotes received the first crowns from the hostess chapter in Santa Monica, California in 1951,” said Nancy Bergman, tenor of the 1954 champions, Mississippi Misses. “They were fresh flower garlands and of course did not last, but the IDEA did!” The following year in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA) the Pitch Pipers, who won the Queens of Harmony title in 1952, were presented crowns made of seashells. They lasted a bit longer but didn't survive the championship year. The Big Four received the first durable crowns at the Milwaukee convention in 1953. “They were rhinestones mounted on cloth material, and they were quite beautiful,” reported Big Four replacement tenor, Mary Waters. The idea continued to evolve, spurred on by an enthusiastic membership and perpetuated by the chapters hostessing international convention. (In 1953, the hostess duties were shared by the Milwaukee #1, Milwaukee Harmony and Wauwatosa Chapters.) In 1954, the Mississippi Misses received pearl crowns, handmade by one of the members of the Kensington-Buffalo and Kenmore Chapters in New York. Unfortunately, not many of the first crowns have survived. Most disintegrated before the


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completion of the quartets' championship year. However, in 1955, Nota-Belles were presented rhinestone tiaras by the hostess chorus in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). They also received roses, fur-trimmed capes and scepters. Not only did these crowns make it through their championship year, they set a precedent for future gifts to the champions. The capes and scepters continued until the mid-1960s. Over the years the crowns continued to become as individual as the quartets wearing them. Some were full circles, and some were tiaras. Some were silver and rhinestones presented on beautiful handmade, white satin pillows. Some had pearls or colorful jewels and gems inserted in sparkling designs and swirls. “The Sea Adelines won in Toronto in 1962,” reported Zoe Thompson, bass. “It was the first time our convention was in a city outside of the U.S. Because it was Canada, the handmade crowns featured a gold maple leaf in the center. They were beautiful!” According to Renee Craig, lead of the 1957 champions, The Cracker Jills, “The Miami Chapter presented us with crowns handmade with string pearls and colorful gems. In addition, we received long capes which had a collar and beads with the same type of gems as were on the crown.” In 1979, the Tetrachords, 1978 champions and members of the hostessing Kirkwood, Missouri (USA) Chapter (now St. Louis Harmony Chorus), asked to see the new crowns so they could practice putting them on the heads of the new champions. “The crowns were so tiny,” said Nancee Reinhold (bass). “They looked like they were made for little girls.” The quartet contacted members of the Coronet Club with their concerns, and without skipping a beat (or the curiosity of local businessmen and shoppers), a contingent of crown-wearing women made their way to a carnival supply store in St. Louis and promptly selected and purchased four “queen-sized” crowns. As a means of quality control, it was decided that the Coronet Club would assume responsibility for purchasing and providing crowns to future champions. The Hallmarks (1979) received these “more substantial” crowns. Most of the more recent crowns have been silver and rhinestones or crystal; however, Weekend Edition received gold crowns to

commemorate the 1995 celebration of the organization's 50th anniversary. Over the years the crowns have graced the cover of The Pitch Pipe and glistened in the stage lights, attracting attention by members and non-members of Sweet Adelines. Although the gold medal continues to serve as the prize for earning the most points at international competition, the ultimate gift to the champions is the crown, and it lives on as a lovely and lasting tradition of our organization — the symbol for becoming the World's Champion Women's Barbershop Quartet.

Some Queen Trivia Young Queens:

• The Junior Misses, 1956. Some were 16 and some 17. • The Growing Girls, 1989, were 11 years old when they started and 22 when they won.

Mother/Daughter Queens:

• Bertha Bradley (Bass) and Inez Junior Thompson (Lead), 1953 Big Four • Florence Anderson (Tenor) and Joyce Cunningham (Lead), 1958 Sweet And Lows • Vicki Gibson (Bass), 1975 Front Office Four and Kendra Lapointe (Tenor), 2006 Spotlight • Lynda Mears Keever (Lead) and Heather Mears Brooks (Baritone), 2008 Four Bettys • Portia Little (Lead), 1971 Bron's Tones and Michelle Shoemaker (Lead), Martini 2012 • Michelle Hunget (Tenor), 2010 ZING! and Mary Duncan (Baritone), 2019 ClassRing

Sister Queens:

• The Johnson Sisters were all sisters, 1948 • Virginia Clausen (Tenor) and Phyllis Odders (Lead), 1951 Quarternotes

• Sue Arabian (Tenor) and Alice Kennedy (Baritone), 1959 Yankee Misses • Lorene Eller Roberts (Lead) and Diane Pauley (Baritone), 1961 Lyrics • Jean Shook (Lead) and Margaret Layer (Tenor), 1968 Galatones • Connie Garcia Milestone (Lead) and Chris Huebschen (Baritone), 1970 Rarities • Lee Balaguer Davison (Lead), Jackie McConkey Bellshaw (Baritone) and Sally Otis Whitledge (Bass), 1972 4th Edition • Shirleyann Quigg (Lead) and Betty (Tracy) Clipman (Bass), 1980 Penna-Fores • Donna Bates (Tenor) and Maureen Brzinski (Lead), 1983 Melo-Edge • Bonnie Fedyski (Bass) and Amy Brinkman (Tenor), 1995 Chicago Fire

Jewel King sang bass for the 1951 International Quartet Champions, Quarternotes. A popular and influential singer and leader, she was active in the organization for almost 40 years and served on the International Board of Directors from 1965-1980. The Jewel King trophy, presented to quartet champions, was named in her honor. The original version of this article appears on the website of The Coronet Club, a non-profit organization composed of SA International Quartet Champions. A version of this article, updated by Sandi Wright, also appeared in The Pitch Pipe in January 2001, and The Coronet Club updates the website version regularly with new information. The Coronet Club’s upcoming events include the 2021 Queens’ College in Dallas, Texas. The 2021 Rising Star Quartet Contest and inaugural Diamond Division Contest will be held during Queens’ College as well. For more information, visit

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Save the date

for the Rising Star Quartet Contest! For singers age 26 and younger.*

t s e t n o C t e 2021 Quart The Rising Star Quartet Contest will be held during the Coronet Club’s Queens’ College on July 16, 2021 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas, USA.

Watch for more details coming soon. *For this year only, the age limit has been raised to 26 to accommodate singers who could not compete because of the cancellation of the 2020 contest.


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MAKE MUSIC DAY REACHES ACROSS THREE CONTINENTS Valerie Taylor, Master Director, Vocal Dimension Chorus, Region #31


nternational Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music held on June 21st each year. On Make Music Day, everyone is encouraged to sing or play music outside in their neighbourhood or public spaces, to share the joy of music with others. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held in more than 120 countries. In previous years my chorus, Vocal Dimension, has taken part in Make Music Day in various different ways. This year, I wanted to celebrate the way that music reaches across boundaries – geographical or otherwise – and highlight the international nature of our organisation. I had an idea that choruses on three different continents could join forces and make music together. I approached Kim Wonders (Metro Nashville, TN, USA) and Lea Baker (Endeavour Harmony, Sydney, Australia) so that, with my own chorus (Vocal Dimension, Surrey, England), we could learn a song and sing it remotely, but together. My original plan was that we would learn a new song and put together a video of our choruses singing the song, whether at rehearsal, in a park, or any other crazy location we could find. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that! It would have been a huge technological feat to learn a new song and then combine individual videos of almost 200 singers, so a new plan

was hatched to create a video using recordings of a song that we already had. I thought it would be easy to find a song that we all had in common. Turns out that was not the case! The only song that all three choruses had recorded was “Lazy Day”. I used the recordings to create a track that featured each chorus separately, then all three together as if it were a mass sing. That in itself was complicated by the fact that the recordings were in three different pitches and three different tempos! But we got there and, once we had the recording, we were able to video ourselves in our respective rehearsals singing along. With the aid of Zoom, we were able to create something that was almost as good as the original plan! The video itself was compiled by Ella Miskin, the talented daughter of Vocal Dimension’s Marketing Coordinator, Claire Miskin. Ella, who is 16 years old, is studying Creative Media & Film Production at college, and she did a magnificent job. In fact, Ella’s work on various videos for Vocal Dimension was highlighted by her college tutors in her end of year assessment! The result was a wonderful collaboration across the miles. Here’s hoping that in 2021, I can dust off ‘Plan A’ and get the three choruses together again – in person!!

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Save the date The first-ever Diamond Division Quartet Contest! For singers age 55 and older.

Diamond •DIVISION•

Our brand new quartet contest kicks off during Coronet Club’s Queens’ College on July 15, 2021 Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas (USA)

For more information, visit 38

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A LEGACY OF PHILANTHROPY Toula and John Oberlies’ charitable rollover gift to Sweet Adelines International


or Toula Oberlies, giving is a family legacy. She was born in Egypt to a large, close Greek family and raised in a diverse community speaking Greek, French, and Arabic. “I’m very international,” she said. When Toula was 12, her family moved to the United States, where she learned to speak English as well. Her father, an accountant, and her mother, an English language instructor, modeled generosity for their children. “As immigrants to the United States with suddenly very limited financial means, my parents had a tough life of it,” she said. “Their lives completely changed. But even back then, they donated what they could to their Greek Orthodox Church and to different philanthropic clubs. They instilled in me the importance of philanthropy.” Since Toula joined Capital City Chorus in 1974, she and her husband John have supported Sweet Adelines International in many ways. Recently, they made a charitable rollover gift from their IRA (Individual Retirement Account) that will help SA fund programs that benefit singers for many years. Countries have varying rules about how retirement funds can be distributed. To learn if an IRA rollover or similar gift may be a strategy for your family, please contact your professional advisor for current information on current age requirements and benefits to you. “I see it as a simple and appropriate way for people our age to give,” Toula said. “I hope it will inspire other Sweet Adelines friends my age to talk with their financial planner and with Susan Smith [Sweet Adelines International Director of Philanthropy] about it, which is what we did.” Toula cared for her parents, who lived to their mid-90s, all their

lives, even as she got her college degree in journalism, married John, and raised their children. The first time she saw her future chorus, she and John were pushing their baby daughter around the mall to help her sleep when they stopped to watch a performance by Capital City Chorus. Toula had been a singer all her life, and she knew immediately that she had found a home. “They were wearing this long, white dress with black lapels and a bowtie, and it was very Broadway-looking,” she recalled. “The front row had a top hat and a cane, and they were dancing. I heard them sing and saw those lapels and the canes, and I had to do it.” John said he knew his wife was “gone” when she rescheduled their anniversary dinner so she wouldn’t have to miss her second chorus practice! Since that fateful day, Toula has spent lots of time singing lead on the risers and has served in several roles at the chapter, regional, and international levels. She is on the Philanthropy Committee and a founding member of The Overtone Society. She helped get Young Women in Harmony and the Young Singers Foundation off the ground. Currently, she serves as marketing manager and performance coordinator for Capital City Chorus, and she is the revitalization chairperson and Official Panel Liaison for Region #4. Toula wants to see other singers benefit from Sweet Adelines as she does, and she believes everyone has something to contribute. “You can come and learn how to sing, develop your voice, learn the craft, and when you are able to contribute and add other responsibilities, you are privileged to do that,” she said. “That’s what is so great about Sweet Adelines. But if all you can do is come and sing, we love that too.”

To find out more about making a one-time donation or a recurring gift, visit, or contact Susan Smith, Director of Philanthropy, at or by calling 1.918.388.8040.

October 2020 |



Some history and a lesson from the first SA Certified Expression Judge Jean Crockett Kane

The focus on the Expression category is the evaluation of the performer's ability to communicate musically and lyrically. In vocal music, communication is strengthened by meaningful delivery of lyrics, musical diction, artistic phrasing, appropriate dynamics, energy, vocal characterization and a projection of sincere emotion. The Expression judge listens to a performance with her primary concentration directed to the evaluation of the degree of artistry achieved in the verbal execution and lyrical delivery of the song. Although many specific areas contribute to the success of an artistic performance, they are inseparable in that blended together the result is an artistically satisfying experience. — current Judging Category Description Book From our beginnings, we have strived for artistry in our lyrical delivery. True artistry combines excellence in all the technical and lyrical interpretation elements as well as a heartfelt connection to the lyrical message that is communicated with authenticity to the audience. Today’s Expression Category views all of the specific elements together with equal importance knowing that they are inseparable in creating an artistic, musical performance that reaches into the hearts and minds of their audience. Communicating the intent of the message with freedom and authenticity is the ultimate goal for every performance. — Paula Davis


hen I was a little girl, many decades ago, my mother did not send me to dance or piano lessons, she sent me to a teacher to learn “Expression.” I remember learning to speak distinctly, putting emphasis on important words to give expressive meaning to what I was reciting. In school, I majored in speech and English. Again, I studied words and their effective delivery. In the late 1960s, as a member of the Sweet Adeline International Board of Directors, I became International Judging Chairman and encountered a problem area with one of our four Judging Categories, which at that time were Music, Sound, Showmanship, and Precision. I believed that Precision, which focused on attacks and releases, did not take musicality into consideration, focusing instead on mechanics, which did not align well with the Music and Sound categories. Needing a new category that would focus on musical delivery of the lyrics of a song, I had the opportunity to add to my previous training, research techniques of expressive singing, and develop the first version of the Expression Category. I subsequently became the first Certified Judge in that category. We were in Tulsa meeting in a motel, and at the point in time where we were reviewing all of the judges, I was an approved


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candidate in the music category and had trial scored and judged a contest or so. We were evaluating all the judges, and when it came time to evaluate Jean Crockett, Music candidate, I had to go sit out by a pool while they talked about me. They said, “You’re doing fine in Music, but you’ve got to change to Expression. You wrote it. Go judge it.” That’s when I became the first judge in the Expression category. I have the first pin and the first certificate. That’s the way it happened. Since then, the Expression Category has undergone several revisions as singers have developed through the years. As judges, it is our responsibility to keep up with the changes. Creating and judging the Expression Category has been an exciting part of my music career, and Sweet Adelines is a wonderful organization. I got my 60-year pin in Las Vegas in 2017. I’ve been emeritus since 2009 from Scottsdale (Chorus), and I’ve said many times that during that first 50 years, there was never a time that I wasn’t growing musically or administratively or as a person! Personality. Ease on stage. Ease in talking with people. The opportunities are there, like I had the opportunity to create the Expression Category. Since the early days, there have always been things that needed to be done, and we did everything because we could. Everything was done for love.

THE FOLLOWING QUOTES ARE FROM A RECENT VIRTUAL INTERVIEW WITH JEAN CROCKETT KANE: Writing the Category: When we were evaluating things, the Music and the Sound people did not like Precision, and they just wanted to have the three categories. I said “No, I know what the fourth category is. I will come up with something.” At the 1966 international convention in Houston, I sat in the candidate judges section with a yellow, lined notepad and judged the contest in the new category.



n the “early days,” in order to enunciate lyrics of a song clearly, we took great pains to be sure we pronounced each syllable in its entirety, matching our vowels and making sure the consonants were heard so that the lyrics were understood. The result was a clipped, choppy delivery. Later, we went through a phase of slurring consonants a bit to create a more connected sound. We continued to search for ways of enunciating words so the effect was more natural, like speaking expressively. Our craft progressed through many phases as we “discovered” new techniques, eagerly working to incorporate skills that would make our music more pleasing to the ears of our audiences. At some point along the way, we realized that excessive movement of the jaw can result in choppy singing as well as lack of synchronization as different singers move the jaw more than others. Naturally, vowels create the need for some jaw movement; however, if we look at the individual consonants, we can see that some can be enunciated using movement of the tongue alone. Some need primarily the lips. Very few actually require any movement of the jaw. As you look at the divisions below, I invite you to experiment with the sounds. Using only the tongue, first make the sound of just the consonants below. Then use that sound in the words shown.

Some time later, two families of us with kids went up to a cabin we’d rented for a few weeks. Before we went up there, I went to the library and got a huge stack of books — everything I could find on expressive singing — and while we were at the cabin, I pulled from things in all of those books to write the category. It had to go to Headquarters for editing, and what came out was the first Expression category description, which has since been revised, of course.

C as in cat D as in did G as in gag K as in kick L as in let N as net R as in dark T as in till Y as in yet Ng as in song, gong Th as in thin, then

Describing Expression: To judge Expression, you need vocabulary that describes what you’re hearing or what you want to hear. When the craft moves forward, the category changes — when people get better and more musical, more expressive, more emotionally projecting so that you get into the song. What you want the audience to perceive is the beauty or the excitement of the music, and you don’t want obstructions coming in, like missed notes or weird chords… You want the audience to get totally engrossed in the music. If the category isn’t describing that, we have to find new descriptive language for it.

Adapted from a class given to Scottsdale Chorus

Using primarily the lip, experience the initial consonant sound alone, then the words. Once the initial consonant is pronounced, the rest of the word can be made internally. B as in bed F as in fin M as men P as pit Q(u) as quick R as in rid V as in vin W as in wit

Jaw movement is needed for:

S as in sent, same C as in cent X as in ax Z as in zen

A high percentage of our words can be created totally inside our mouth cavity, that is, if we can mentally “divorce” our tongue from our jaw and accept the fact that our jaw doesn’t need to move just because our tongue is moving! The same can be said to a lesser degree for the lips. Experience the difference in singing a simple “la, la, la, la, la” moving the jaw along with the tongue, then do it again using only your tongue. The latter is probably a more relaxed, easy sound. It’s my hope that this advice will be helpful in your musical journey.

Jean Crockett Kane served on the International Board from 1964 to 1970, including two years as Education Committee Chairman, where she helped develop the first Sweet Adelines Music Schools. As International Judging Chairman, she wrote the first draft of the Expression Category and was the first Certified Judge in the Expression Category. She received her 60-year pin in 2017 and is an emeritus member of Scottsdale Chorus.

October 2020 |


UNDERSTANDING THE EXPRESSION CATEGORY An explanation by Expression Category Specialist Vickie Maybury

What is the Expression Category all about? Why is it important? What sets it apart from other categories? Let’s explore the answers to these questions to develop a deeper understanding of the Expression Category.


Vocal Skills

Forward Motion

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s amic

Dyn Inflection


ents Embellishm Characterization

Lyrical Flow


munication Emotional Com Finesse Tempo Word Deliv ery (Dipthongs, Enunciatio n, and Vowels )

he diagram above includes all of the elements of the Expression Category. It helps illustrate that the category is non-hierarchical, each element is important and vital, and the elements work together to achieve musical, lyrical, and emotional communication. The overarching theme of the Expression Category is communication. The Judging Category Description Book says, “the Expression judge evaluates the artistic and synchronized delivery of musical language.” Further, unity is the golden thread that intertwines every element of the Expression Category. Unity is overarching. It’s not just about internal and external synchronization or pitch, it’s about unity in lyrical emphases — breathing as one, energy as one, tempo as one, character as one — as well as unified dynamics



that allow the message to have a spirit vital to telling the story, a unit approach to vocal production, tempo, characterization, and emotional communication. Barbershop embellishments, chord emphases, and climactic builds help to set the art form apart and strengthen the message if delivered in a way that is unified and from the heart. When they are done as a technique, they become inauthentic affects. The uniqueness of the Expression Category’s role is reflected in its scoring framework, as it is the only category that is adjudicated at 100% combined technical and artistic elements. These elements are interdependent and interwoven — metaphorically similar to yin/yang. In ancient Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin and yang represents dualism. Yin and yang describe how seemingly opposite

or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world and how they may give rise to each other through their interrelationship. We know this to be true in our art form. Technique can help set the framework for the artistic elements but singing with artistry and emotion can also help inform technique. We know that because when an ensemble delivers a performance filled with authentic emotion, the singers may not have mastered all the technical vocal skills that would support that level of performance, but the emotional and authentic presentation elevates the performance beyond the technical skill set. Artistry and finesse result from being emotionally connected, not simply through a high level of vocal skills.

...unity is the golden thread that intertwines every element of the Expression Category. Vocal skills, energy, and unity wrapped in musicality form the foundation of the category. The technical and artistic elements of the Expression category work in tandem to communicate a unified musical, lyrical, and emotional message. As the technical becomes less focused and the artistry emerges, the communication with an audience increases. The interplay between the technical and artistic elements creates true harmony and allows the performance to soar. When emotion is injected, the performance transcends. The richness of the Expression Category lies in the dance of intricate and interwoven interdependencies — the yin/yang. Here are some examples of the yin/yang interplay: Tempo/Characterization: Character without a tempo/pulse style is just character; tempo/pulse without a character is just a tempo. While tempo and pulse are the heartbeat of an uptune, infusing those elements with character raises the level of the performance. Without the character, true communication is not achieved.

Artistry and finesse result from being emotionally connected, not simply through a high level of vocal skills. Another yin/yang example is lyrical phrasing/word delivery. Lyrical phrasing is the artistic framework for bringing emotion to the song. Lyrical phrasing allows the ability to share the storyteller’s thoughts and spontaneous feelings. Phrasing is strongly influenced by where we pause and breathe as we sing the lyrics — which words we emphasize because we feel they are important — and how we relate emotionally to the words. Have you ever heard a great performer deliver a song where the message sounds effortless and fresh and filled with meaning, as if the singer is saying the words for the first time? In contrast, have you ever experienced a performance where you didn’t understand the words? Where the word delivery is stilted, awkward, or ploddy

and seems to impede communication? Word delivery works as the technical platform that includes vowels, diphthongs, consonants and enunciation. Word delivery is interwoven with the lyrical plan. When adding character, vocal characteristics enhance the lyrical/emotional delivery. Such characteristics include rate of speed (slow/quick), tone, texture, intonation — the way that words in sentences rise and fall. Asking how the words should be delivered for the character to communicate the meaning is vital to conveying authentic emotion. Emotional connection is interwoven with and informed by word delivery, inflection, and lyrical phrasing. Another example of technical vs. artistic is forward motion and energy: Forward motion is not just taking faster breaths or breathing in the meter of the song. Rather it is the persistent and relentless injection of unified energy springing from an emotional thought or feeling that brings the song to life. Vocal skills and musicality are also yin/yang. Vocal skills are foundational in all the judging categories. In the Expression Category, vocal skills intricately scaffold the technical elements and artistic nuances including character and finesse that allow musicality to emerge and transport the message. The ultimate result is audience engagement.

...mysterious, magical, ethereal, and elusive, the Expression Category is truly about authentic shared communication... So, what is musicality? What does it mean to make music or be musical? Jeannette LoVetri, one of the most recognized singing teachers in the world, wrote, “Someone who is musical automatically responds fully, easily, and deeply to music. A musical person doesn’t need to wonder about the relationship between music and emotion, as they are completely the same.” She adds, “Audiences will always respond to musicality, but they might not realize that this is what they are doing. Emotion is always what people want to hear and will respond to and remember. You cannot substitute this for a performance that is not also good in terms of the musicianship, but without it, the accuracy or the complexity of the music alone will only impress others who are also good musicians.” Songs have both a musical line and a lyrical line. When those lines are wrapped in authentic emotion that honors and embraces feeling and character, shared and synergistic communication unfolds. The yin/yang interplay evolves, extends, and sustains the communication progression. Often considered mysterious, magical, ethereal, and elusive, the Expression Category is truly about authentic shared communication between and among the performers and the audience. Vickie Maybury is Master 700 Director of Skyline Chorus. She is a member of the SA International Board of Directors, a certified member of Sweet Adelines International Faculty and a Certified Expression Judge and Expression Category Specialist.

October 2020 |




REGION #1 Beth Paul, Communications Coordinator Gail Jencik, Directors Coordinator Karen Sweeters, Education Coordinator Patti Lavernoich, Events Coordinator Lauren O'Sullivan, Finance Coordinator Laura Carey, Marketing Coordinator Sally Jeffery, Membership Coordinator Rebecca King, Team Coordinator

REGION #5 Mary Kammeyer, Communications Coordinator Bev Hamilton, Directors Coordinator Twilla Duvall, Education Coordinator Rosalyn VanHecke, Events Coordinator Elizabeth Hager, Finance Coordinator Judy Kaeser, Marketing Coordinator Karen Matthews, Membership Coordinator Mary Kullman, Team Coordinator

REGION #2 Leslie Lennon, Communications Coordinator Jill Watson, Directors Coordinator Brook Tucker, Education Coordinator Nanette Wardin, Events Coordinator Nancy Swift, Finance Coordinator Cathy Maxwell, Marketing Coordinator Melissa Wright, Membership Coordinator Lois Kelly, Team Coordinator

REGION #6 Lori Scott, Communications Coordinator Megan Argall, Directors Coordinator Terri Calvert, Education Coordinator Lyla Larson, Events Coordinator Jerralynne Tjeerdsma, Finance Coordinator Shannon Binstock Cook, Marketing Coordinator Linda Rubis, Membership Coordinator Susan Krisnik,Team Coordinator

REGION #3 Linda Gross, Communications Coordinator Lora Wright, Directors Coordinator Carol Thompson, Education Coordinator Cindy Slowik, Events Coordinator Shelly Hughes, Finance Coordinator Connie Selmi, Marketing Coordinator Debi Batchelor, Membership Coordinator Becky McDuffee, Team Coordinator

REGION #8 Heather Reimnitz, Communications Coordinator Julie Palagi, Directors Coordinator Susan Johnsen, Education Coordinator Mary Kriener, Events Coordinator Ruth Widerski, Finance Coordinator Amy Munnell, Marketing Coordinator Jeanne Simpson, Membership Coordinator Joan Clare Ford, Team Coordinator

REGION #4 Jeanne Delahunty, Communications Coordinator Debra Bringman, Directors Coordinator Kim Wonders, Education Coordinator Natalie Allen, Events Coordinator Beverly Miller, Finance Coordinator Kristie Clark, Marketing Coordinator Marsha Leistner, Membership Coordinator Sue Pelley, Team Coordinator


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REGION #9 Karen Wicker, Communications Coordinator Beth Ripple, Directors Coordinator Gayle Burton, Education Coordinator Barbara Lewis, Events Coordinator Amy Donnelly, Finance Coordinator Tricia Zichello, Marketing Coordinator Carolyn Deni, Membership Coordinator Francine Russ, Team Coordinator

REGION #10 Euna Poole, Communications Coordinator Mary Beth McMurray, Directors Coordinator Kerri Mauney, Education Coordinator Kellie Welsh, Events Coordinator Janet Burnett, Finance Coordinator Laura DeGraw, Marketing Coordinator Sue Englebert, Membership Coordinator Carol Mouché, Team Coordinator REGION #11 Jolene Liang, Communications Coordinator Bobbette Gantz, Directors Coordinator Tammy Ragsdale, Education Coordinator Teresa May, Events Coordinator Laura La Borde, Finance Coordinator Jennifer Zucker, Marketing Coordinator Bridget Barrett, Membership Coordinator Marcia Bosma, Team Coordinator REGION #12 Petra Van Klaveren-Chini, Communications Coordinator Kathy Scheel, Directors Coordinator Alison Miller, Education Coordinator Mary Mamer, Events Coordinator Geri Miller-Riedel, Finance Coordinator Kevran Day, Marketing Coordinator Lynda Casillas, Membership Coordinator Birgit Andersen, Team Coordinator REGION #13 Sandra Smith, Communications Coordinator Patty Martin, Directors Coordinator Shelly Pardis, Education Coordinator Jody Allen, Events Coordinator Sherry Morrison, Finance Coordinator BethAnn Bock, Marketing Coordinator Sharon Stockstad, Membership Coordinator Sally Ryerson, Team Coordinator

REGION #14 Susan Inge, Communications Coordinator Sherry Sprague, Directors Coordinator Sarah Clay Lindvall, Education Coordinator Mary-Margaret Prange, Events Coordinator Deborah Lawrence, Finance Coordinator Katie Staggs, Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Cooke, Membership Coordinator Missy Wurthmann, Team Coordinator REGION #15 Victoria Tisch, Communications Coordinator Jeanne Elmuccio, Directors Coordinator Jean Schoenlank, Education Coordinator Kay Weiss, Events Coordinator Phyllis Capolongo, Finance Coordinator Kiara Contreras, Marketing Coordinator Melissa Prew, Membership Coordinator Lori Britt-Horvath, Team Coordinator REGION #16 Jacqui Barron, Communications Coordinator Joan Borden, Directors Coordinator Susann McKinley, Education Coordinator Sue Melvin, Events Coordinator Colleen O 'Dwyer, Finance Coordinator Martha DeClerq, Marketing Coordinator Christine Yorke, Membership Coordinator Sue Melvin, Team Coordinator REGION #17 Sherry Berkley, Communications Coordinator Kay Seymour, Directors Coordinator JoAnn Wilson, Education Coordinator Vicki Van Gorder, Events Coordinator Karen Wharrey, Finance Coordinator Stephanie Doerner, Marketing Coordinator Ruth Bates, Membership Coordinator Deborah Ferenc, Team Coordinator

REGION #19 V. Nicole Burkhardt, Communications Coordinator Stephanie Brictson, Directors Coordinator Lori Jo Whitehaus, Education Coordinator Sally Kelly, Events Coordinator Cathy Schuman, Finance Coordinator Donna Vincent Roa, Marketing Coordinator Patricia Weeks, Membership Coordinator Irene Hershey, Team Coordinator REGION #21 Tammy Meyers, Communications Coordinator Dayle Ann Kerrigan, Directors Coordinator Kimberly Bettendorf, Education Coordinator Victoria Kemsley, Events Coordinator Mary Chilton, Finance Coordinator Claudia Cannon, Marketing Coordinator Beverly Berardinelli, Membership Coordinator Adelina Dudda, Team Coordinator REGION #25 Audra Haney, Communications Coordinator Elena Irvin, Directors Coordinator Melynnie Williams, Education Coordinator Jennifer Foster, Events Coordinator Kelli Hinton, Finance Coordinator Raye Mahlberg, Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Chartier-Holdeman, Membership Coordinator Karen Phillips, Team Coordinator REGION #26 Joanne Johnson, Communications Coordinator Maja-Lena Weibe, Directors Coordinator Mary Teed, Education Coordinator Frances Thorson, Events Coordinator Susan Dumas, Finance Coordinator Stacey Rose, Marketing Coordinator Brenda Wells, Membership Coordinator Leslie Mackay, Team Coordinator

REGION #31 Helen Walledge, Communications Coordinator Nancy Kelsall, Directors Coordinator Alyson Chaney, Education Coordinator Kirstie Spencer, Events Coordinator Mairi Redhead, Finance Coordinator Chrissie Boden, Marketing Coordinator Nicky Salt, Membership Coordinator Hilary Pinnock, Team Coordinator REGION #32 Annika Christensen, Communications Coordinator Marie Erenstedt, Directors Coordinator Mari Pettersson, Education Coordinator Lisa Rolf, Events Coordinator Catharina Persson, Finance Coordinator Anna-Lena Halttunen, Marketing Coordinator Kerstin Brindbergs, Membership Coordinator Annika Dellås, Team Coordinator REGION #34 Sue Gilkes, Communications Coordinator Jenni Pyefinch, Directors Coordinator Lea Baker, Education Coordinator Teena Caithness, Events Coordinator Anne Freeman, Finance Coordinator Anna-Marie Shew, Marketing Coordinator Tracey Ezzy, Membership Coordinator Michelle Neller, Team Coordinator REGION #35 Jenny Edwards, Communications Coordinator Virginia Humphrey-Taylor, Directors Coordinator Kerry Stewart, Education Coordinator Sarah Bennett, Events Coordinator Julie Mansell, Finance Coordinator Jo Maxwell, Marketing Coordinator Miriam Spragg, Membership Coordinator Leigh Whitelaw, Team Coordinator

October 2020 |


Accolades As of May 1, 2020 – July 6, 2020

DIRECTOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM Advanced to Certified Director Janet Crenshaw, Pride of Kentucky, #4 Drew Osterhout, Pride of Portland, #13 Cindy Sheffler, Greater Harmony, #17 Emily Moriaty, Geelong Harmony, #34 Wendy Hoople, Chinook Winds Show, #26

IN MEMORY — May 1, 2020 through August, 18, 2020

Veronica Black, Heart of Long Island, #15 Vickilynn Gruber, Seattle Shores, #13 Edna Racicot, North Metro, #16 Dolores Shaw, Member-At-Large Nathalie Elswood, Kansas City, #5 Julia Siler, Toast of Champaign, #3 Renee Craig, Chapter-at-Large, #15 Nancy Lever, Jersey Sounds, #19

Advanced to Harmony 500 Director Gayle Burton, Sound of Sunshine, #9 Kellie Phifer, K-Town Sound Show, #4

Lois Lanphere, Pacific Sound, #13 Janice Stauffer, Member-At-Large Phyllis Stahle, Member-At-Large Lenore "Lee"Hines, Member-At-Large


Marshia Nicholson, Jet Cities, #13 Susan Adams, Pensacola Sound, #9

Beginner Arranger Level Achieved Joy McGregor, Alberta Heartland, #26 Wendy Hall, Canadian Showtime, #16

Martha O'Brien, Potomac Harmony, #14 Barbara Harp, Five Valley, #13 Marcy McCowin, San Francisco Sound Waves, #12 Dee Fujinami, Tri City Sound, #11


Norma Mundstock, Gem City, #4 Char Gurney, Scioto Valley, #4 Mary Ann Colgan, Chapter-At-Large, #13

There was an error in the In Memory list for the July 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe. The correct entry for Anita Gohl is listed as follows: Anita Gohl, Chapter-at-Large, #13

Eunice D De Leon, Greater Auckland, #35 Ada Siler, Toast of Champaign, #3 Patricia Fanelli, Sacramento Valley, #12 Joanie Curtis, Westwind Harmony, #21 Helen Poland, Pratt, #25 Peg McDaniel, Five Valley, #13 Nancy Lever, Jersey Sounds , #19


The Pitch Pipe

Send article ideas, story submissions, photographs or corrections to Story submissions should be 500 words or less. Deadlines are 60 days prior to publication. Not all submissions will be published.


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SanDee Sausville, Spirit of Spokane, #13 Darlene Rogers, Texas Harmony, #10 Deborah Rhodes, Harbor City Music Company Show, #19 Karin Julenius, Alba Show, #32 Gerda Ryan, Harbor City Music Company Show, #19 Kathleen Oldham, Island Grove, #1 Joanne Kloby, Dundalk Chapter, #19 Marie Dale, Chinook Winds Show, #26 Rachael Pomerenke, Center Point, #6

October 2020 |




Visit for more information and a complete schedule of events. | October 2020

Articles inside

Accolades/In Memory

pages 48-50

Understanding the Expression Category

pages 44-45

Expressive Singing Then & Now

pages 42-43

A Legacy of Philanthropy: Toula Oberlies

page 41

Make Music Day

pages 39-40

Sweet Adelines Chorus Identity

page 33

History of the Crowns

pages 36-38

Competition Updates and Revisions

pages 34-35

A Joyful Experience: Suzanne Olsen

page 32

The Voice in Quarantine

pages 28-31

Harmony Roundup

pages 26-27

Diversity & Inclusion Task Force Update

pages 24-25

75th Anniversary Virtual Convention

pages 22-23

Countdown to 75 Years: 2010-2019

pages 18-21

International Board Nominees

pages 8-11

From Our CEO

pages 6-7

From Our President

page 5
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